Alcohol poisoning, or “acute intoxication,” is not a singular result of excess drinking. Rather, alcohol poisoning is what begins to occur after a certain level of blood alcohol content is crossed. Consuming alcohol in any capacity causes BAC to climb, that is, the concentration of alcohol in one’s bloodstream gets more dense with each drink. Fortunately, the lower end of the spectrum is relatively safe, only inducing a mild buzz and potentially some reduced coordination. Most people who have a drink or two will reach this point, but from there, the ball is already rolling—and alcohol poisoning effects grow more severe with each passing drink.
Many of the less potent effects of alcohol poisoning are temporary, ending a few hours after the bloodstream clears itself of all alcohol content. However, there are a number of effects that can last the rest of one’s life. Having a consistently high BAC can cause extreme organ damage, including the liver, brain, and heart. The key to avoiding these long-term problems is time. Act with urgency, and call Promises Washburn House’s alcohol detox center at 855.298.3104 for guidance, answers, and how you can sign up for our alcohol treatment program.
Immediate Side Effects of Alcohol Poisoning
The symptoms of intoxication are on a spectrum. When BAC is low, usually around 0.01 to 0.06, (that is, 0.01 milligrams of alcohol per 1,000 milliliters of blood) an intoxicated person will tend to slur their speech, lose balance, or act forgetful. Towards the middle, in the 0.07 – 0.17 range, people will start losing consciousness, become increasingly irritable, or start vomiting, all which pose their own health and safety risks. The higher levels, those with a BAC of over 0.18 often result in temporarily impaired senses, vomiting, or blacking out.
Danger compounds with two factors: quantity and speed at which alcohol is consumed. The more alcohol that’s been consumed, the longer it will take to clear the bloodstream out to normal levels (0.0). Generally, however, blood alcohol clears within 8 hours. After that, it can take an additional day for most symptoms to dissipate and the body returns to homeostasis.
The Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Poisoning
Alcohol poisoning has ramifications beyond the 6-8 hours it takes to flush from one’s system. Most of the long-term damage that alcohol poisoning can cause is related to the health and functionality of many of the vital organs. Specifically, regular alcohol poisoning from binge-drinking can overwhelm the liver and deoxygenate the brain. This is called hypoxia, and it can depress certain vital parts of the brain that dictate the following:
- Breathing patterns
- Heartbeat (slows or stops entirely)
- Body temperature (often goes cold)
- Gag reflex
When the brain begins to fail, it causes a cascade of other organ failures in the heart, liver, stomach, and others that can lead to severe health problems and/or an early death. Deaths attributed to alcoholic tendencies during one’s life are inherently preventable, but account for almost 100,000 fatalities per year.
Contact Us At Promises Washburn House to Start Your Journey
At Promises, we understand how it feels to learn the consequences of addiction. Nobody is too far gone to make a significant change in their lives regarding alcoholism. Whether it’s your own or someone you care about struggling with alcohol, it’s not too late to work towards sobriety. At our Washburn House, we offer a comprehensive alcohol treatment program in a facility with full accommodations, with experts who will ensure your experience is catered to your personal situation.
Don’t wait, time is on your side. Contact us at 855.298.3104 to make the first steps in your healing journey.