What you should know about alcohol poisoning

Want to know how to avoid alcohol poisoning? Just don’t drink…

As we enter the Summer season, and warm weather welcomes us, it’s natural to be out and partying more often. Even if you aren’t the “partying type” you will likely be eating on a patio or hanging by the water with friends at some point.

Maybe you have a wedding to attend or a trip to the vineyard planned. Like it or not, alcohol is often included in these warm weather activities.

While most of us won’t think about it, alcohol poisoning is still a serious concern each year, and occurs frequently. Six per day. That’s the number of people that die from alcohol poisoning each day in the U.S. Now, many of us associate alcohol poisoning with young college students on Spring Break, but surprisingly enough, alcohol poisoning most frequently occurs in adults ages 35 to 64. Three out of four deaths caused by alcohol poisoning were adults in that age group. 76% are males. (CDC)

What is even scarier, is that most of us don’t know what drinking “too much” looks like, signs of alcohol poisoning, or when to call for help. Now most of us would not consider ourselves a “binge drinker” but may comfortably consume a few drinks an hour when hanging with friends.

If you think that volume is ok, you may want to think again. Binge drinking for men is rapidly consuming five drinks within two hours, and for women it is four. That’s on average. Keep in mind other factors like size, weight, and how much you have eaten also play a factor in how alcohol is absorbed into your system.

If for some reason you or someone you are with has drank too much it’s important to know what to look for and when to call for help. With alcohol poisoning a person can experience an array of symptoms, such as; choking, passing out, shortness of breath, dehydration, seizures, irregular heartbeat and even brain damage or death.

When it comes to calling for help, trust your instincts. When calling 911 be able to provide them information like your location and if possible how much and what type of alcohol the person drank. If they are passed out do not leave them alone.

If for some reason they begin vomiting lie them on their side until help arrives. This will help prevent them from choking. It can be difficult and scary to decide when to call for help but it is always best to air on the side of safety.

Another important aspect of alcohol poisoning safety and future prevention is follow up care. Meeting with a physician and working towards sober living can help prevent future instances of alcohol poisoning and long-term health risks.

Suggest they seek out an addiction recovery group if appropriate. Don’t hesitate to be a real friend. Be concerned, make the call and take a step to help others towards a sober and successful life.

Contact Lorraine’s House for help at 913-953-8371. 

1. CDC
2. Mayo Clinic