Posted by Bellefaire JCB on January 29, 2016

Facts about Alcohol Poisoning

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Facts about Alcohol Poisoning

Did You Know?

  • One drink is defined as 12 oz. beer, a 4 oz. glass of wine, a 10 oz. wine cooler, or 1-1/2 oz. of 80 proof alcohol.
  • Alcohol is a psychoactive drug that changes brain chemistry.
  • Alcohol is lethal in high doses.
  • Deaths from alcohol overdoses occur about as often as deaths from other drugs.
  • Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, that can "turn off" vital brain areas resulting first in coma, then in death.
  • Poison control cells in the brain detect danger - too much alcohol. A signal is then sent to your stomach to vomit.
  • It takes 30 to 90 minutes after you stop drinking before you reach your highest level of intoxication.

Symptoms of An Overdose Reaction

  • Cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin
  • Vomiting
  • Passing out, difficult to awaken
  • Slow shallow breathing (8 breaths a minute or less)

Passing Out from Alcohol Intoxication Could Lead to Death in Two Ways

  • You may fall into a deep sleep, vomit, and choke because you are too intoxicated to wake up.
  • You fall asleep and never wake up because the alcohol concentration in your brain is so high that your life functions are so depressed that they stop functioning.

What To Do When Someone Is Intoxicated

  • Continually monitor the person.
  • Check their breathing, waking them often to be sure they are not unconscious.
  • If they fall asleep, place the intoxicated person on their back. Raise the person’s arm closest to you straight above the head. Straighten the leg closest to you. Bend the other leg at the knee and bring the other arm across the chest.
  • Gently roll the person towards you. Guard the head.
  • Tilt the head to maintain airways. Tuck nearest hand under the cheek to help maintain head tilt.
  • If they do not respond, call 911.

The only thing that can sober an intoxicated person is time. Only a sober adult should be responsible for the well-being of a drunk person.

Do Not...

  • Exercise the person.
  • Allow the person to drive a car or ride a bike.
  • Give the person food, liquid, medicines or drugs to sober them up.
  • Give the person a cold shower, the shock of the cold could cause unconsciousness.
  • Let a person who has been drinking heavily sleep it off.

Learn about Bellefaire JCB's Outpatient Counseling and Substance Abuse Services