Alcohol Poisoning - How Much is Too Much?

Alcohol Poisoning – How Much is Too Much?

October 26th, 2011 Alcohol Addiction, Helpful Articles

This past July we lost a musical icon to what could be assumed a severe alcohol and drug addiction. The 27 year old singer spent the greater part of her career in and out of drug rehab facilities battling this vicious disease.

News has finally broke about the cause of Amy Winehouse’s death… Alcohol poisoning. According to the coroner’s report, Amy Winehouse died as the result of consuming entirely too much alcohol; with her blood alcohol content reaching over 5 times the legal limit. Her death raises an important question: How much alcohol is too much?

To best explain that question we must identify what alcohol does to the body:

  • Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream. Within minutes of drinking it, alcohol travels from the stomach to the brain, where it quickly produces its effects, slowing the action of nerve cells
  • Overdosing on alcohol can cause severe depressant effects such as the inability to feel pain, toxicity, where the body vomits the poison out, and finally unconsciousness
  • When the amount of alcohol in the blood exceeds a certain level it causes the respiratory (breathing) system to significantly slowdown, which can cause a person to slip into a coma or even to death

While Amy had stayed sober for most of July, she had begun to binge drink again in the days leading up to her death. Medical professionals point to binge drinking as a major factor that can lead to acute alcohol poisoning. It is something that carries with it major negative consequences such as:

  • When an individual consumes too much alcohol too quickly, their blood alcohol level increases dramatically which can inhibit the area in the brain that controls breathing; and when that is inhibited people can’t breathe which results in death
  • Too much alcohol in the body can also result in severe dehydration, hypothermia, seizures, breathing problems, and heart attacks among other difficulties
  • Alcohol is carried by the bloodstream to the liver to be metabolized, and since the liver can only metabolize a certain amount at a time, the excess is left circulating throughout the body. Meaning, when one binge drinks the effects on the body will be more intense, correlated with the amount consumed

This past year I have gone to work drunk, blacked out in clubs and bars and can’t remember getting home. Ashamedly I slept with someone and couldn’t even remember the person coming home with me until we bumped into each other the next day. I’ve destroyed two relationships because I hurt them so much through my drinking, but I put drinking first. My family is so hurt that their daughter is killing herself for apparently no reason.”

Winehouse’s devastating story helps bring to light the dangers associated with alcohol abuse and binge drinking and the potentially fatal consequences that can happen if one doesn’t get help. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, don’t hesitate to call us toll-free at 855-678-8337


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