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effects of alcohol poisoning

Effects of Alcohol Poisoning

While it may not seem like it, especially while you’re consuming it, alcohol can have some lethal consequences. One of the many downsides of drinking alcohol is alcohol poisoning, which can occur upon consuming an overwhelming amount of alcohol.

What Is Alcohol Poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning is a serious consequence of drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. This problem can be life-threatening and usually requires urgent medical treatment. This can also happen if a person accidentally consumes ethanol (through a household product or another form).

The liver can only process one serving of alcohol per hour, so if the liver cannot process the amount of alcohol being consumed, it begins to flood the bloodstream and affect areas of the brain that control vital functions of the body.

The standard drink, or one serving of alcohol is:1

  • 12 ounces of regular beer, usually 5% alcohol
  • 5 ounces of wine, typically 12% alcohol
  • 5 ounces of distilled spirits (vodka, tequila, whiskey, gin, rum), about 40% alcohol

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

The effects of alcohol poisoning can be life-threatening, and it starts by slowing down the proper functioning of your brain. If you or someone you know is suffering from possible alcohol poisoning, you may notice:

  • Confusion
  • Vomiting, choking on vomit
  • Hypothermia
  • Blue-tinged skin around lips or fingertips
  • Pale skin
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Abnormally slow breathing
  • Seizures
  • Loss of bladder control

Even when you stop drinking, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can continue to rise, worsening the symptoms of alcohol overdose. If these symptoms become extreme, you can go into a coma and even die from the overconsumption of alcohol.

Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help

While the thought of seeking clinical addiction treatment may seem embarrassing, there are many specialists who will go above and beyond, providing you with a focused recovery solution that is designed to help you fight your battle.

At Cypress West Intensive Outpatient, we offer an intensive outpatient program that can help you end your fight with alcohol abuse so you’ll never have to feel the effects of alcohol poisoning ever again. Contact our treatment specialists today to take the first step towards quitting alcohol forever.


Additional Reading

What to Expect in IOP



  1. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism – What Is a Standard Drink?