Understanding the Dangers of Alcohol Overdose National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA

Alcoholism is a chronic condition in which a person cannot control his or her drinking despite craving alcoholic beverages. In addition to respiratory failure and accidents caused by its effects on the central nervous system, alcohol causes significant metabolic derangements. Hypoglycaemia occurs due to ethanol’s inhibition of gluconeogenesis, especially in children, and may cause lactic acidosis, ketoacidosis, and acute kidney injury. Acetone is primarily eliminated through the renal system with some escaping via the lungs.

  • The deposition of calcium oxalate in tissues, furthermore, can induce enough hypocalcemia to depresses cardiac output.
  • After an episode of alcohol intoxication, it takes time to recover.
  • Sometimes medications may be used in alcohol addiction treatment.
  • A person experiencing alcohol poisoning may also have other medical issues, such as a head injury or a drug overdose.
  • Scaling these risky BAC thresholds is not as difficult as some might think.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

stages of alcohol poisoning

Most poisonings happen through oral ingestion of EG containing liquids, most commonly antifreeze. There are cases of EG poisonings from ethanol substitution, suicide attempts, and accidental ingestions (2, 15). EG intoxication is more common in the United States than methanol.

Inpatient Programs

stages of alcohol poisoning

Their motor responses and gag reflexes are nonfunctional, and their body temperature drops. If you think someone is experiencing alcohol poisoning, seek emergency medical attention immediately. This is when a male rapidly consumes five or more alcoholic drinks within two hours or a female consumes at least four drinks within two hours. An alcohol binge can occur over hours or last up to several days. Health issues, including impaired liver function or sexually transmitted diseases, arise. Drinking-related legal issues occur, like driving under the influence (DUI).

How Many Days Does it Take to Recover from Alcohol Overdose?

  • Oxalic acid leads to the formation of calcium oxalate crystals.
  • A doctor can diagnose intoxication by checking the patient’s blood alcohol content levels.
  • If you think someone has alcohol poisoning, never hesitate to seek emergency medical care.
  • For example, some craft beers may have four times the amount of alcohol that’s in a regular beer.

Use of this website and any information contained herein is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement. Always consult a medical provider for diagnosis and treatment. BAC can continue stages of alcohol intoxication to rise even when a person stops drinking or is unconscious. Alcohol in the stomach and intestine continues to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.

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If BAC is high enough, it can impair physical functions such as breathing and the gag reflex (that prevents people from choking. People may feel euphoric while drinking alcohol because ethanol stimulates the release of dopamine, a feel-good chemical in the brain. This effect on the brain’s dopamine system can lead to alcohol dependence. Blood and urine tests can measure alcohol concentration, providing helpful clues about whether alcohol poisoning is the cause of symptoms.

Binge Drinking and Alcohol Toxicity

  • If the person is experiencing seizures, a short-term anticonvulsant medication will be given to stop the seizures.
  • These other conditions can complicate the symptoms, making it more challenging to recognize alcohol poisoning.
  • Alcohol affects one at every stage of life regardless of age or gender.
  • As such, the amount of alcohol that needs to be consumed to reach a state of alcohol poisoning varies from person to person.
  • However, death is not the only consequence of excessive alcohol use.
  • This effect decreases the gag reflex, which can make you choke on your own vomit while passed out or sleeping, causing potentially fatal consequences.