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Alcohol Overdose

After you or your loved one have been stabilized from an alcohol overdose, it may be time to consider further treatment options. We offer guidance for those seeking alcoholism treatment, interventions, counseling, family therapy and more. All of our calls are confidential. You owe it to yourself to call now.

Alcohol overdose, also known as alcohol poisoning, happens to over 50,000 people in the United States each year. Even more seriously, one person dies each week from alcohol poisoning.

Signs of Alcohol Overdose

Alcohol poisoning has several signs and symptoms, including the following:

  • Serious mental confusion, coma or shallow breathing
  • Vomiting, especially excess vomiting that can lead to dehydration, which can cause death.
  • Time between breaths, of up to 10 seconds or more
  • Inability to wake up
  • Blue skin, lips, fingers or toes (indicates a lack of circulation and can lead to death)
  • Seizures
  • Cold sweat or shaking
  • The person may have his or her eyes open and appear to be looking at you, but they may be “blacked out,” either having seizures or systemic failure
  • No response to painful stimuli, like being pinched or prodded

Alcohol and Drugs Combined

Most people are aware that illegal street drugs combined with alcohol are dangerous, but did you know that over-the-counter medications and prescription medications can also be dangerous when combined with alcohol?

Keep this information in mind if you are considering having a drink after taking any medicine or drugs in the past 24 hours:

  • Medicines can intensify the effects of alcohol.
  • Alcohol can intensify the effects of medicine.
  • Combining certain medications, particularly sedatives and painkillers with alcohol, can be deadly.
  • Many people who have taken long-term medications for years, such as prescriptions for chronic conditions or psychiatric conditions often do not consider the effects of alcohol on their current medications. It is important to always be familiar with your prescriptions, new and old.

Treatment for Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol overdose is best treated in a hospital. It is very dangerous to treat alcohol overdose at home or on your own. There is no cure for alcohol poisoning found in the home — no amount of water or coffee will help a person who has overdosed on alcohol. Feeding the alcohol-poisoned person may cause more vomiting and the person may even choke on their vomit.

Many people hesitate to call 911 if a friend or loved one appears to have alcohol poisoning. By hesitating for crucial minutes, the risk of death is higher. If you think someone might have alcohol poisoning, call 911 immediately. It is much better to be safe than sorry.

Once in the hospital, the person can be quickly and easily treated for alcohol poisoning. Common hospital treatments for alcohol poisoning include the following options:

  • Pumping the stomach contents out to remove the rest of the alcohol
  • Giving the person specialized medication to absorb the alcohol in the system
  • Providing IV fluids to bring electrolytes and fluids back into the body

Leaving alcohol overdose untreated can cause death, permanent brain damage or severe illness and trauma to the body.

Need Help Finding an Alcohol Rehab?

If you want more information about alcohol addiction and rehab, call our toll-free number. We are available 24 hours a day and can provide you with the help you need. Recovery is only a call away.