March 6, 2008
Alcohol poisoning is a serious — sometimes deadly — result of consuming dangerous amounts of alcohol. When your body absorbs too much alcohol, it can directly impact your central nervous system, slowing your breathing, heart rate and gag reflex. This can lead to choking, coma and even death.
Alcohol poisoning most often occurs as a result of drinking too many alcoholic beverages over a short period of time. Binge drinking is a common cause of alcohol poisoning.
Signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:
- Confusion, stupor
- Slow or irregular breathing
- Blue-tinged skin or pale skin
- Low body temperature (hypothermia)
- Unconsciousness ("passing out")
It’s not necessary for all of these symptoms to be present before seeking help. A person who has become unconscious, or cannot be roused, is at risk of dying.
If you are in a situation where you feel there has been alcohol poisoning get help immediately by calling 911. Do NOT leave the person alone and do NOT try to get them to vomit as their gag reflexes are impaired.