Alcohol Abuse and Overdose: The Risks
While drinking beer, wine, or spirits is a socially acceptable practice for those in the United States over the age of 21, there are those who drink so often and to such an extent that it becomes problematic. Generally speaking, the abuse of any substance, regardless if it is illicit like heroin or licit like alcohol, can render a number of negative consequences in a person’s life. Familial discord, poor performance at work, financial struggles, and mounting health concerns due to the abuse of substances is quite commonplace when a person overconsumes them, and the abuse of alcohol is no exception.
Alcohol abuse has the ability to impact every facet of a person’s existence, and several health complications can emerge in response to this form of substance abuse. Among such complications is the ever-present risk of overdose that looms when an individual drinks excessively. Also known as alcohol poisoning, an overdose on alcohol occurs when a person drinks beer, wine, and/or spirits to such a degree that his or her body is unable to metabolize it safely. In most instances, an individual’s body will attempt to remove the excess alcohol via vomiting, however, this physiological response may not be enough to preserve the wellbeing of the person. Additionally, if a person ingests other substances at the same time as alcohol and experiences an overdose, the resulting effects could be deadly.
For the above reasons and more, it is important for a person who is experiencing alcohol poisoning to receive immediate medical attention in order to avoid a potentially fatal outcome.
The Signs of Alcohol Overdose
When a person displays the signs of alcohol overdose, he or she is certainly in need of medical care. Regardless if he or she consumed beer, wine, and/or spirits or consumed alcohol at the same time as other substances, medical attention needs to be sought so as to reduce the imminent risks involved.
If you notice that you or someone else is displaying the following signs of alcohol overdose, it is wise to contact 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room as quickly as possible:
- Loss of consciousness
- Shallow or slowed breathing
- Loss of skin tone
- Hypothermia (low body temperature)
- Incoherent speech
What to Do if a Person is Showing Signs of Overdose
Those who notice another person displaying the signs of alcohol overdose can play a life-saving role in the life of the individual in such a circumstance. The aforementioned signs of overdose should be treated seriously and medical attention should be sought quickly. Even if there is doubt as to whether or not an overdose is occurring, it is best to err on the side of caution and to let medical personnel determine the most appropriate course of action in the moment.
If you are someone who contacts emergency personnel on behalf of a friend or loved one, you can be of help to the first responders who are providing that person with care. By offering the following information (if you have it), you can help better direct the paramedics to the type of interventions they are needing to use:
- Any health concerns that he or she is suffering from
- The duration of the person’s drinking
- The amount of alcohol that was consumed
- Any other substances that may have been ingested
- The signs of overdose that were apparent that caused you to contact 9-1-1
If you are able to provide the above information, you can help the responding medical personnel in an invaluable way. However, if you do not have this information readily available, keep in mind that these professionals are well-trained, know how to assess someone who is experiencing a medical emergency, and can offer up effective care without the above information.
Experiencing an overdose due to the overconsumption of alcohol can most certainly be a one-time occurrence for a person. However, if this type of medical emergency happens more often, it is likely that that an individual is grappling with an alcohol abuse problem. When this is the case, treatment is most certainly warranted so that the person can overcome this addiction and prevent overdoses in the future.
Understanding that an addiction to alcohol can oftentimes be exceedingly difficult to overcome without professional help, The Camp Recovery Center is pleased to offer the life-changing care that is required to help people defeat this perilous form of chemical dependency. By incorporating proven effective interventions and an unparalleled dedication to delivering superior treatment, The Camp is where true recovery can be achieved.
If you or an important person in your life would like to learn more about how The Camp can change your or your loved one’s life via its world class treatment for alcohol abuse, do not hesitate to contact us at your convenience.