Drinking in moderation is generally safe, but heavy drinking may increase the risk of alcohol poisoning. Those who consume excessive amounts of beer, wine, or liquor may have a higher risk of experiencing this unhealthy and unsafe condition. How long does alcohol poisoning last? What causes it to happen? The answers to these questions may help individuals avoid experiencing this condition, promoting health and safety.
The alcohol rehab center at Promises Behavioral Health offers a safe and comfortable environment where individuals may recover. Our addiction specialists provide individualized, comprehensive support and address clients’ unique needs, paving the way toward lasting sobriety. Contact us at 844.875.5609 to learn more about how we can help you change your life.
What Causes Alcohol Poisoning?
Alcohol poisoning occurs when a person drinks excessive alcohol in a short period. As a result, the individual’s blood alcohol content (BAC) becomes dangerously elevated, as the body cannot process the amount of beer, wine, or liquor consumed.
Generally, alcohol poisoning is more likely to occur after consuming between six and 12 alcoholic beverages. This amount of beer, wine, or liquor may raise the BAC to 0.4%, at which point a person usually requires medical intervention.
What Counts as an Alcoholic Beverage?
Alcohol by volume (ABV) varies depending on the type of drink. One alcoholic beverage may amount to:
- One to two ounces of hard liquor (40% ABV)
- Eight to nine ounces of malt liquor (7% ABV)
- Five ounces of table wine (12% ABV)
- 12 ounces of beer (5% ABV)
Remember that strong cocktails, wines, and beers may contain more than one serving of alcohol, meaning it might take fewer drinks to develop alcohol poisoning. Additional factors influencing how quickly a person becomes intoxicated include age, certain medications, food consumed before drinking, and pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes.
Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning
Alcohol poisoning causes toxins to accumulate rapidly in the bloodstream, resulting in potentially severe and life-endangering health complications. Some common signs of alcohol poisoning include the following:
- Slow or shallow breathing
- Irregular heart rate
- Pale or blue skin
- Low body temperature
Since these symptoms can be life-threatening, call 911 as soon as you notice them. If you see a person who appears to have alcohol poisoning, don’t leave them unattended. Help them sit upright, encourage them to drink water, and wait with them until help arrives.
How Long Does Alcohol Poisoning Stay in Effect?
How long does alcohol poisoning last? The effects typically end within hours after the body flushes toxins from the bloodstream. However, without medical attention, complications such as seizures and unconsciousness may cause coma, leading to weeks or months of hospitalization. In some instances, sudden death is possible.
If a person repeatedly consumes enough beer, wine, or liquor to cause alcohol poisoning, they may develop severe health issues. These include:
- Liver damage and heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Certain types of cancer
- Pancreatic damage and digestive problems
- A weakened immune system
Experiencing alcohol poisoning, even just once, can be a sign of addiction. Seeking treatment from an alcohol rehab center may prevent problems from worsening, helping individuals lead healthier lives.
Reach Out to Promises for Alcohol Rehab
If you or a loved one struggles with an alcohol use disorder, turn to Promises Behavioral Health. Our compassionate specialists use evidence-based treatment to help clients find freedom from addiction. With our customized care plans, we can guide you through recovery to experience better health, joy, and fulfillment.
At Promises, our alcohol rehab center offers comprehensive care, including individualized counseling, relapse prevention strategies, and aftercare resources. Don’t wait; take the first step towards reclaiming your life today by contacting us at 844.875.5609 or completing our online form.