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Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

Drinking too much alcohol too quickly may lead to alcohol poisoning, which is very deadly. Recent research from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) shows that six Americans die daily from alcohol poisoning.

What Is Alcohol Poisoning?

Acute alcohol poisoning develops when the amount of alcohol in the system is so high that the parts of the brain responsible for coordinating essential life-sustaining activities, such as heart rate, breathing, and body temperature, start to shut down.

Causes of Alcohol Poisoning

Ethanol (or ethyl alcohol) is the primary substance in alcoholic beverages. Alcohol toxicity results from that. You may already have some other alcoholic substances around the home, such as methanol (wood alcohol), isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), and methanol.


Drinking too much alcohol in a short time causes your body to have trouble processing the ethanol. Moreover, the chemicals in alcohol take a long time to be broken down by the body, prolonging the effects of intoxication.


A person's alcohol intake limit is affected by a variety of variables, including:


  • Gender

  • Weight

  • Tolerability threshold


There's no such thing as a safe drinking limit when it comes to alcohol poisoning since everyone's body reacts differently to the effects of alcohol.

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Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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When you drink too much alcohol quickly, your risk of adverse outcomes like alcohol poisoning rises dramatically. Binge drinking is among the leading cause of alcohol poisoning.


Binge drinking is a drinking pattern that can result in a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. It usually happens when a woman has four drinks and a man has five drinks in roughly 2 hours.


Alcohol poisoning can also occur with high-intensity alcohol consumption exceeding the typical male and female binge-drinking limits by two or more times.


One drink is a beverage with approximately 14 grams of pure alcohol. Examples of standard drinks are:

  • 12 ounces of beer (a can of beer).

  • Five ounces of wine (a glass of wine).

  • One and a half fluid ounces of hard liquor (a shot of liquor).

Rolling Hills Recovery Center offers free 24/7 alcohol addiction support. Call today and confidentially speak with our addiction specialists at 855-559-8550.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

Knowing the warning symptoms and what to do in the event of an alcohol overdose might be the difference between life and death for the victim.

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

Someone showing signs of alcohol poisoning must get quick medical assistance. Call 911 immediately if you believe that someone has overdosed on alcohol. The following are signs of alcohol poisoning:

Poor Coordination

The effects of having an excessive amount of alcohol in your system will negatively impact your coordination. You'll begin to feel dizzy and disoriented and see double, making it difficult to move and keep your feet on the ground. Additionally, as a result of the impact that alcohol has on the timing of reflexes in your brain, your reflexes will become more sluggish.

Clammy Skin

Having taken a substantial quantity of alcohol, your arms, hands, and chest will become sweaty. Alcohol can't be processed quickly enough via your liver, so your pores squeeze it out through sweat, which is your body's next best option.

Exuding an Odor of Alcohol

When alcohol is consumed, a powerful vapor rises from the tummy and fills the mouth, giving off a distinct alcohol scent. Even if you can't smell ethanol, a breathalyzer can tell you how much alcohol is in your system based on your blood alcohol content (BAC).

Incoherent Speech

Alcohol has a calming effect on inhibitions and impairs one's concentration ability. Slurred speech is caused by the brain's inability to coordinate the mouth's movements with the moral clarity or series of words. This results in terms that are slurred and muttered.

Reddish Eyes

The eyes are the best way to tell whether someone is drunk. You can expect them to be red, with veins and a watered-down look. In addition to the dropped eyelids, the most visible sign of impairment is poor coordination in the rest of the body.



When alcohol gets to the brain, it messes with short-term memory. When under the influence of alcohol, people begin to lose sight of their environment, thoughts, and behaviors. Occasionally, the alcohol might cause them to black out and lose all recollection of the time they were awake and engaged.

Irregular Heartbeat

The heart's usual pace will be reduced to a fraction of its regular speed when you drink in excess. Alcohol and other depressants reduce brainwave activity and blood flow, allowing the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to operate subconsciously.

Passing out and Not Being Able to Awake

A person who has drunk too much alcohol will experience difficulties in the brain's efforts to keep awake. People who have passed out may make noises or even move a little, but they are wholly unconscious, and it may be impossible to bring them back to consciousness at this point.

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Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning may present itself in many distinct ways, each of which should serve as a warning. However, it would be best if you didn't hold off on seeing a doctor until you've had severe negative consequences before doing so. Finding assistance as soon as possible rather than waiting might be the difference between a rapid recovery and problems that could risk a life.

Here're some common symptoms of alcohol poisoning:


  • Trouble staying awake.

  • Severe confusion.

  • Seizures.

  • Throwing up.

  • A very sluggish rate of heartbeat.

  • Breathing slowly (sometimes less than eight breaths a minute).

  • Prolonged pauses between each inhalation and exhalation (10 seconds or more).

  • A low temperature throughout the body.


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Seek Treatment if You Have a Problem With Alcohol

Keep an eye on your loved ones to ensure their safety. Also, keep in mind that you may prevent the possibility of an alcohol overdose by abiding by the DGA (Dietary Guidelines for Americans) recommendations for the years 2021-2025 if you prefer to consume a little alcohol.


Please contact us now if you're looking for a trustworthy alcohol treatment program.

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Binge Drinking
Causes of alcohol poisoning
Signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning
Symptoms of alcohol poisoning
Seek treatment if you have a problem with alcohol

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What is alcohol poisoning?
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