That means you run the risk of choking on your vomit and damaging your lungs or even dying. Consuming too much alcohol too quickly can lead to alcohol poisoning, which is marked by symptoms such as poor coordination, hypothermia, irregular heartbeat, slowed breathing, and unconsciousness. More than 2,200 people die from alcohol poisoning each year, an average of six people per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most are men, and three in four people are between the ages of 35 and 65. Products containing alcohol or alcoholic drinks should be kept out of the reach of children, to avoid accidental ingestion and subsequent alcohol poisoning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas produced by the burning of gasoline, wood, propane, charcoal, and other fuel. If you inhale too much CO into your lungs, a dangerous condition known as carbon monoxide poisoning can occur. Additionally, some drinks, such as mixed drinks, can have more than one serving Addiction Recovery: Seven Great Art Project Ideas of alcohol in them. This can make it harder to keep track of how much alcohol you’ve actually consumed. Heavy drinking affects the amount of nitric oxide in the lungs, which helps to maintain normal breathing. Once a person takes less than eight breaths per minute, their breathing is slowed.

Can Alcohol Poisoning Kill You?

Since blood vessels are expanded by heavy drinking, many people dealing with alcohol poisoning may develop a rash. Rashes can also stem from an alcohol intolerance or allergy, which can cause extreme itching, stomach problems, and trouble breathing. A coma resulting from alcohol poisoning requires immediate medical attention. Underlying problems or injuries can easily lead to a coma after a person drinks too much. Even when someone stops drinking, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can continue to rise for minutes, resulting in worsening symptoms.

Dialysis, a process by which blood is filtered of waste and toxins, may be necessary in severe circumstances. In some instances, oxygen may be administered by placing a mask on the face. Mechanical ventilation may be necessary for respiratory support if breathing is not self-controlled. When you have alcohol in your system, you may also experience vasodilation (widening of the blood vessels), which decreases blood pressure.

What Is Alcohol Poisoning And What Causes It?

Treatment for alcohol intoxication involves supportive care while the body tries to process the alcohol. You must seek emergency medical treatment for a person who’s showing symptoms of alcohol poisoning. Death from alcohol poisoning is a serious and preventable public health problem in the United States.

However, the important thing to remember is that “too much” is different for everyone, varying based on age, gender, body size, tolerance, and also what you happen to be drinking. Of course, not every drink is going to lead to alcohol poisoning, but it’s still important to understand that it can be serious. So if you find that a glass or two turns into a bottle or more, you might want to take a hard look at your drinking habits, Dr. Andrews suggests.

Final Thoughts: Alcohol Poisoning

Anyone who cannot be awakened or is unconscious is at risk of dying. Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania. Vomiting can also lead to choking, even if the vomiting is expected.

A previous study found that there were three times as many deaths in which alcohol poisoning was a contributing, rather than underlying cause of death (19). Despite what many people may believe, alcohol poisoning can occur regardless of the type of alcohol consumed. Excessive consumption of beer, wine, or liquor can all lead to alcohol poisoning because they all increase your BAC, particularly if you consume the beverages quickly. Therefore, if a person consumes an excessive amount of alcohol within a short period, the liver is unable to keep up with the strain of metabolizing it. This overwhelms the body, and the resulting symptoms can be life-threatening. Alcohol poisoning occurs when the body is unable to effectively process the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream, causing various organs and body systems to start shutting down.

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