Name Your Poison

Name Your Poison

February 17th, 2011 Alcohol Addiction, Helpful Articles

Body cells are very quick to snap up alcohol when someone takes a drink, particularly on an empty stomach.  This ability (disability!) of the cells to do this is what causes the deadly condition of alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning occurs when multiple drinks are taken over a short period of time.  The level of alcohol in the blood (BAC) shoots up rapidly, as high as 0.40% or more.  Alcohol intoxication, or being legally drunk, is a BAC above 0.08%, so it is no surprise that 12 times this level can be deadly.

Since hard liquor has a higher amount of alcohol per drink than beer or wine, someone who is rapidly drinking straight whiskey, vodka or other spirits can reach a dangerous BAC much more rapidly.

Alcohol poisoning can occur in binge drinkers or long-term alcoholics.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning: 

  • Confusion
  • Vomiting (a person can die if they inhale vomit)
  • Breathing less than 8 times a minute
  • Pale, bluish skin (caused by too little oxygen in the body)
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Seizures
  • Anger that is so uncontrolled it can cause harm

Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency. If you think your loved one has these symptoms during a bout of drinking, call 9-1-1!

Maybe you haven’t seen this extreme drinking in your friend or family member, but something is telling you that there is a problem. How do you tell the difference between social drinking and alcoholism?

Here are some solid indicators that drinking has become a problem

  • Responsibilities at work, home and school are no longer fulfilled
  • Alcohol is drunk in risky situations, such as when driving or using machinery
  • Legal problems come up, such as DUIs, fights or not paying bills
  • Letting go of relationships with family and friends

Here are some symptoms of alcohol addiction: 

  • A strong and persistent craving for alcohol
  • Being unable to stop drinking,  even if it means losing a job or family member
  • Not being able to limit the number of drinks one has
  • Symptoms of withdrawal when unable to find a drink (in as little as 3-8 hours!)

Contact Elements Behavioral Health

Call 855-678-8337 for a confidential assessment or fill out the form below and we will call you.