Certain substances that are often abused come with major immediate risks in addition to their long-term concerns, and alcohol is one of the best and most common examples. Alcohol poisoning is a serious issue that causes thousands of deaths every year, and those who abuse alcohol regularly are at the highest risk of it.

At Moonlight Mountain Recovery, alcohol poisoning is just one of numerous alcohol-related issues we look to help manage and prevent with our caring alcohol addiction recovery programs, available to clients around Boise and also in Washington or Oregon. If you’re the friend or family member of someone who abuses alcohol regularly, knowing the possible signs of alcohol poisoning could save their life. Here are some basics on this, plus on the overall risks of alcohol poisoning and why those who drink excessively could benefit greatly from treatment before a serious incident like this arises.

What is Alcohol Poisoning?

Many people are unaware of what constitutes alcohol poisoning, and the symptoms that indicate it. This refers to the overconsumption of alcohol leading to a toxic reaction in the body, which can cause serious health issues or even death if not treated fast enough.

As the stomach digests alcohol that’s being consumed, it is then absorbed into your bloodstream and circulated throughout the body. When too much alcohol has been consumed, this can lead to an overload of poison in the body that overwhelms its natural processes. Your liver, which is tasked with removing toxins, will not be able to remove them quickly enough when they are being consumed faster than it can process them.

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

If someone has had too much to drink and is at risk of alcohol poisoning, they will likely be displaying certain signs. These include confusion, vomiting, clammy skin, blue-tinged lips and fingernails, irregular or slow breathing, a drop in body temperature, and an unconscious state.

It is crucial to take action right away if you feel someone may be suffering from alcohol poisoning, as time is of the essence in these cases. If someone has experienced alcohol poisoning and needs treatment, get help immediately by calling 911 or going to your nearest hospital emergency room.

Who is At Risk of Alcohol Poisoning?

While certain specific groups tend to have higher rates of alcohol poisoning than others, anyone who abuses alcohol can be at risk. Those who binge drink or consume large amounts of alcohol in a short period are especially prone to this issue. This is why it’s so important for those who drink frequently to seek out proper addiction recovery services and to understand the risks associated with drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

However, from a medical perspective, it should be noted that males between 35 and 64 are easily the most likely to die from alcohol poisoning, while the highest rate of hospitalizations due to this takes place among those aged 15-24.

Treatment for Alcohol Poisoning

Some people don’t understand how serious alcohol poisoning can really be until they’re treated for it. But by laying out some of the treatments that are used here, including some that are quite intrusive and impact your life for a long time afterward, perhaps a greater understanding can be reached. Some examples:

  • IV fluids: In many cases, the person will receive an IV drip with fluids and electrolytes in order to help their body recover faster. This can also help to prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
  • Oxygen via nasal: In cases where the person is having trouble breathing, they may need oxygen delivered to them through their nose. This can help to get their breathing back to a normal rate and also prevent damage from lack of oxygen reaching the brain.
  • Stomach pumping: Depending on the severity of the case, a procedure known as gastric lavage may be used. This involves pumping out any remaining alcohol in the stomach, which can help to reduce the amount of poison in their body and lower their blood alcohol level significantly. This treatment can have long-term effects on the digestive system, however, and should only be used when absolutely necessary.
  • Blood filtration (dialysis): In certain severe cases, dialysis may be used to filter the blood and remove any remaining alcohol from the body. This is a rather invasive procedure, and may have lasting effects.

By realizing the possible risks associated with alcohol abuse and understanding what signs to look for, you can help to prevent a tragedy from happening. If you or someone you know is suffering from an alcohol addiction, seek professional help right away. Through targeted treatment and education, those who are addicted to alcohol can be helped back towards better health.

And at Moonlight Mountain Recovery, we are always here to help. Whether you need assistance with alcohol detox in Boise, Washington or Oregon, or just want to learn more about addiction recovery, we’re ready to provide both the guidance and resources you need. So contact us today—we’d love to work with you on your journey towards a better life!