Many people are aware of the dangers of heavy drinking, yet remain unfamiliar with the concept of alcohol poisoning. A person typically suffers alcohol poisoning when he or she consumes a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time.

Alcohol poisoning is a highly serious condition in which the liver is unable to detoxify the alcohol in a person’s body and the alcohol causes the body’s functions to shut down. People who suffer from alcohol poisoning may stop breathing or suffer seizures, hypothermia, or brain damages. In some cases, an individual may go into a coma or, in the worst cases, die.

When you suspect a person suffers alcohol poisoning, you should immediately dial 911. Because alcohol poisoning can affect a person’s gag reflex, you should never leave a victim unattended.

Common signs of alcohol poisoning include vomiting, seizures, and “passing out” (unconsciousness). Additionally, a victim may have slow breathing (defined as less than eight breaths a minute) or irregular breathing (gaps of more than 10 seconds between breaths).

According to a January 2015 report published on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) website, an annual average of 2,221 alcohol poisoning deaths occurred among persons 15 years of age and older in the United States between 2010 and 2012. More than three-quarters of the deaths were men.

A separate CDC fact sheet states that excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 annual deaths in the United States from 2006 through 2010 and was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years. The CDC estimated that the economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2010 were roughly $249 billion.

Excessive drinking is defined as including binge drinking and heavy drinking. Binge drinking is defined for women as consuming four or more drinks during a single occasion and five or more drinks during a single sitting for men. Heavy drinking, on the other hand, is defined as consuming eight or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more drinks for men. Moderate drinking is defined as a single drink per day for women and two a day for men.

WHAT IS ALCOHOL POISONING?

Another CDC study, conducted with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), determined that nine in 10 adults who drink too much alcohol are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent. For the one in 10 who does have a drinking problem, it can be incredibly difficult to control drinking, stop drinking, or even seek help.

Asana Recovery not only provides detoxification (detox) services but also offers residential treatment and outpatient services for recovering alcoholics. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found 15.1 million adults ages 18 and older had alcohol use disorder (AUD).

If you or your loved one needs assistance with a drinking problem, you should contact Asana Recovery as soon as possible. Call (949) 438-4504 to let us help you become and stay sober.