HomeHealth-and-wellnessHealth ConditionsAlcohol Poisoning & Overdose: Signs, Risks, Symptoms & Treatment

Alcohol Poisoning & Overdose: Signs, Risks, Symptoms & Treatment

Consuming alcohol may have become the social norm these days but when consumed in large, unchecked quantities, alcohol can cause serious damage to your body. An alcohol overdose is a phenomenon of consuming excessive amounts of alcohol in a single event that incapacitates the body’s ability to process the toxins healthily.

You may notice signs of alcohol poisoning in those who display alcoholic symptoms. People who tend to drink more frequently and in large quantities tend to become alcoholics and subsequently suffer from alcohol overdose. If you notice the alcoholic symptoms in yourself or your loved ones, look for treatment centres for alcoholism near you.

What Are The Risks Of Alcohol Poisoning?

There are several risk factors that can cause alcohol poisoning. Alcohol, in itself, is a depressant drug that slows down the activities in your central nervous system. It affects your speech, impulse time, and movement. It also impacts your internal organs leading to severe damage.

Alcohol poisoning is a result of drinking too much, i.e., quantities that your body cannot synthesize. Thus, one of two things can happen:

1. The liver tries to metabolize the alcohol but due to the large quantities consumed, it is unable to metabolize it entirely. The amounts that are not broken down by the liver travels through the entire body, reacting with cells and tissues.

2. The alcohol enters your bloodstream at a rapid rate and the stomach absorbs a lot of it. The remainder is absorbed by the small intestine.

Normally, human bodies are capable of metabolizing certain amounts of different alcoholic beverages. The blood is also capable of carrying and processing one unit of alcohol per hour as per the standard measurements of shots, pints, and glasses. If the blood alcohol level crosses the limit that it can safely synthesize then it leads to alcohol poisoning symptoms.

The risk factors of alcohol poisoning symptoms are as follows:

  • Body size
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Habits of drinking in binge
  • Tolerance to alcoholic beverages
  • Any form of substance abuse
  • Health issues


These risk factors play an important role in the cause of alcohol poisoning symptoms. If you notice signs of alcohol poisoning in people with low tolerance or those who abuse substances and alcohol, contact a recovery centre for alcoholic symptoms.

What Are The Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms?

Although the body does absorb a lot of the alcohol intake and processes it efficiently, an alcohol overdose will result in the following alcohol poisoning symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin turns pale
  • Skin turns blue
  • Hypothermia wherein the temperature of the body decreases
  • Disorientation ad confusion


These signs of alcohol poisoning are basically a result of the inability of the liver to process the huge amounts of alcohol that you are consuming. These large quantities of alcohol have diverse effects on the body to the point of causing serious complications which include the following:

  • Falling heart rate and breathing patterns
  • Constant gag reflexes that hurt the diaphragm
  • Damage to the nervous system
  • A cardiac arrest stems from hypothermia when your body temperature randomly drops
  • Low levels of blood sugar lead to seizures.


People who have alcoholic symptoms tend to display signs of alcohol poisoning too. If a person displays at least one or more of these symptoms, observe if their heart rate is starting to slow down to just 8 breaths per minute or if they refuse to wake up after passing out, it is time to seek medical attention for alcohol poisoning symptoms.

If you notice any of the alcohol poisoning symptoms in people who drink on a regular basis, it is best to address their concerns with professional care centres.

What Are The Alcohol Poisoning Treatments Available?

If you see any of the alcohol poisoning symptoms on yourself or anyone around you, prepare to provide preliminary care before professionals can render alcohol poisoning treatments. Follow these measures till professional help arrives:

  • Make the person lie down on their side. That way even if they gag or vomit, they won’t choke on it. It is a serious threat as inhaling the vomit could result in blocking the air passages, thus obstructing breathing.
  • Remain with the person to monitor their responses till professional help arrives. Furnish any detail required to diagnose the medical repercussions of alcohol poisoning symptoms.


After medical professionals collect a sample of the patient’s blood and urine, they will examine the blood alcohol level and make appropriations based on the patient’s drinking patterns. They observe the levels of glucose in your blood to determine the indicators of alcohol poisoning, following which they will administer alcohol poisoning treatments.

If the patient displays severe symptoms such as seizures, the doctor will need to administer additional tests to provide the following methods of treatment:

  • Providing medication to control the seizures
  • Intravenously supplying medications and fluids, i.e., through a needle in the vein.
  • Supplying nutrients like thiamin and glucose in order to prevent further damage to the brain tissues due to the alcohol poisoning symptoms.
  • Providing oxygen through a tube and a mask externally to regulate breathing.


Some people may have frequent but mild signs of alcohol poisoning, which is why they learn to ignore them. If you notice signs of alcohol poisoning in someone who barely drinks, don’t ignore it. Binge drinking large quantities of alcohol in a single event or drinking large quantities every day can result in alcohol poisoning at any moment.

If you take quick action, you can easily help with alcohol poisoning symptoms before they become too serious or life-threatening. Without proper alcohol poisoning treatments, the patient could suffer brain damage due to alcohol overdose. They could experience seizures, go into shock, or become breathless.

Administer preliminary care to control alcohol poisoning symptoms and wait for a medical professional. If you have the signs of alcohol poisoning yourself, find someone to stay by you till emergency help arrives. It is best to seek treatment for alcoholic symptoms as well if you have an episode of alcohol poisoning.

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