Alcohol poisoning

Alcohol poisoning is a serious and sometimes fatal condition caused by consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time.

It is possible that drinking too much too quickly affects breathing, heart rhythm, disturbs the body’s thermoregulation and causes the pharyngeal reflex to appear.

The condition can occur in adults or children through accidental or intentional ingestion of household products containing alcohol.

The affected person may need immediate medical attention. If you suspect that someone around you has alcohol poisoning, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

What are the symptoms?

• Confusion;
• Seizures;
• Slowed breathing, less than 8 breaths per minute;
• Irregular breathing, difference of 10 seconds between breath intervals;
• Blue tint of the skin or pale skin;
• Decreased body temperature – hypothermia;
• Falling into a state of unconsciousness and the affected person cannot be woken up;

Not all signs and symptoms need to be present for help to be sought.

A person who has overdosed on alcohol and has fallen into unconsciousness or cannot be woken up and does not react at all to very strong external irritation is in mortal danger.

When to seek medical attention?

If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning, even if you do not notice the typical signs and symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.< /p>

Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency.

If you’re with someone who’s been drinking too much and you notice any of the signs or symptoms described above, here’s what to do:

Call 112 immediately. Until the ambulance arrives, try to keep the victim conscious and do not let him fall asleep.

• Be prepared to provide information to emergency medical personnel about what amounts of alcohol the person has consumed and what kind, if you are aware of it, of course.

Do not leave the person unconscious alone as alcohol poisoning affects the pharyngeal reflex and the victim may choke if they vomit and may suffocate as the respiratory muscles are weakened . While waiting for help, do not try to get the person to drink too much alcohol, as they may choke.

Help the intoxicated person when vomiting to stay in a sitting position. If this is impossible, let him lie down, but try to get him to turn his head to one side, this will prevent choking.

Treatment of alcohol poisoning

Alcohol poisoning is an emergency and treatment at home is not effective.

Dangerous Myths

You cannot counteract the effects of alcohol poisoning, and you could make the binge worse with the following:

• Black coffee or caffeine – does not counteract alcohol poisoning;
• Cold shower – the shock of the cold can lead to loss of consciousness;
• Trying to spend some time drinking – does not lead to faster removal of alcohol from the body;
• If you make him lie down to sleep, as he may lose consciousness during sleep.

Treatment of poisoning is supportive, with the aim of facilitating the elimination of alcohol from the body and most often consists of:

• Placement under medical supervision;
• Prevent breathing problems and possible suffocation;
• Oxygen therapy;
• Intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration;
• Vitamins and glucose are administered to prevent serious tissue complications in the organs from the poisoning.

Adults and children who have accidentally ingested methanol or isopropyl alcohol may require dialysis.


Drink alcohol in moderation if you drink at all. If you do decide, stick to the principle of moderation.

In healthy adults, this means up to 1 drink per day for women of all ages and for older men over the age of 65. Males under this age are allowed up to 2 drinks per day. When you drink, enjoy the drink, so you should do it slowly.

Don’t drink on an empty stomach – when consumed with food, it will slow the absorption of alcohol to some extent, although it will not prevent poisoning if you overdo it.

Store household products in safe places – if you have small children, keep products such as cosmetics, mouthwash, and medicines containing alcohol away from them. And if you keep alcoholic beverages at home, it’s best to lock them in a cupboard.

• Seek follow-up help if you have a teen who has once been treated for alcohol poisoning.

Consultation with a medical professional and especially one experienced with people with chemical addictions will prevent future alcohol abuse.

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