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Alcohol Poisoning is a Real Danger – Know the Signs

Taking in too much alcohol for the body to adequately process poses a danger to the drinker and to those around them. One danger thatDanger 1 drinkers often miscalculate is the risk of alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning occurs when the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream is many times higher than the range considered safe. Alcohol affects brain function and large amounts of alcohol can interfere with the brain’s ability to perform normally or safely. A high level of alcohol in the body can also affect physical health in other negative ways.

This impact on brain function is why intoxicated people slur their speech or cannot walk in a straight line. With alcohol poisoning, the amount of alcohol in the body is enough to impair functioning in ways that can be life threatening. For example, the body’s normal reflex to rid itself of toxins is to vomit. But when the gag reflex is not working as it should a person can choke to death on their own vomit. In other cases, breathing can slow down perilously or stop altogether.

Binge drinkers (four or more drinks at one sitting) are at particular risk. This amount of alcohol is hard for the body to process and can lead to alcohol poisoning. Because alcohol poisoning can be deadly it’s important to know the symptoms:

Ragged breathing
Skin becomes very pale or blue-tinged

If you or someone you know drinks excessively and to the danger point even semi-regularly, it’s time to do something and reach out for help. At Family Guidance we have a variety of treatment programs to help you on the road to recovery. Don’t wait – call us today. One episode of alcohol poisoning could be one too many.

The Ugly Truth About Alcohol Poisoning

Over 2,200 people each year are lost to an alcohol-related death – not because they were involved in a car wreck – but because they over-consumed alcohol. Deaths due to alcohol poisoning are a growing concern and the fact that people die each and every day because of over-drinking is a reality.

Middle Age and Older Adults Are Most Impacted
The victims of excessive drinking are most often white, adult males between the ages of 35-64 years living in New England and the western U.S. Alcohol poisoning also affects young adults but a few years of age makes the difference in a person’s ability to cope with large amounts of alcohol. For middle age and older adults, alcohol consumption affects the body more rapidly than at a younger age.

A Sudden Stop
Alcohol is a depressant. That means it suppresses and slows down body functions. The slurred words, stumbling steps and blurry vision associated with alcohol consumption are signs that the body is impaired. If a person consumes too much alcohol things like heartbeat, breathing and body temperature regulation can slow down to a complete halt. It’s called alcohol poisoning and can be deadly.

It’s easier to cross the line into excessive drinking than many people understand. Five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women in a single sitting qualify as binge drinking. More than 38 million Americans say they binge drink (usually eight drinks per sitting) several times per month.

We Can Help
If this sounds like you or someone you know, reaching out for help could save a life. Binge drinking can affect the body long term and it can lead to death. Talk to one of our mental health professionals at Family Guidance and start on the road to recovery before tragedy strikes.

NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month a Good Time to Address Prevention and Treatment

NCADD 1April is a time of year when many adolescents get ready for high school milestones like prom and graduation. While these are naturally celebrated events, they are also known for their connection to underage drinking. For this and other reasons, the month of April has been designated by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., to be observed as NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month.

Each year alcohol related disorders impact over 18 million Americans, and many times, problematic alcohol use begins in youth. Some of this stems from alcohol abuse within the home or family unit. Figures from the NCADD show that up to a quarter of children residing in U.S. households has a relative living with the disease.

When compared to young adults who abstain from alcohol till they are at least 20-years-old, adolescents who drink before their fifteenth birthday face quadruple the risk of alcohol dependency. Youngsters are particularly vulnerable to alcohol abuse because of peer pressure and all of the emotions that go along with transitioning into adulthood. Poor coping skills, a family history of alcoholism, and feelings of anxiety or depression may all be reasons why teens turn to alcohol. The effects of underage drinking can be devastating – alcohol poisoning, deadly car accidents, date rape, and a habit of abuse are all potential negative consequences of teen alcohol use.

Dependency is then an issue that can haunt adolescents into adulthood. Some of the problems associated with the disease include:

  • Decreased productivity within the workplace
  • Increased burden on the healthcare system
  • Increased risk of domestic abuse and divorce
  • Greater criminal activity
  • More motor vehicular crashes and drunk driving episodes, resulting in the loss of 16,000 lives each year

The theme for the 27 annual observance of NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month is “Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow.” The focus of this year’s efforts is directed toward prevention and elimination of stigma that often stands in the way of affected individuals and their recovery. For questions about alcoholism or local programs geared toward alcohol treatment, contact Family Guidance Center.


Alcohol is Leading Cause of Death Internationally

Alcoholism 5Health officials are increasingly more concerned about the dangers of alcohol-related injuries. Alcohol-attributed mortality is becoming a public health concern as the death toll creeps up across the globe.

According to a Medical News Today report, data collected by the World Health Organization (WHO) attributes 2.5 million worldwide deaths each year to alcohol related causes. Injuries attributed to alcohol consumption such as vehicular accidents, falls, accidental drownings, and poisonings represent 33 percent of the disease burden caused by the drug’s use.

Despite these concerns, international government policies aimed at alcohol management receive limited attention. Meanwhile, research suggests that the rates for domestic violence, child abuse, worker absenteeism, disease, and fatal car accidents related to alcohol consumption continue to climb.

Binge drinking is rampant in countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, and Ukraine. The negative effects of the drug have led some nations to ban alcohol marketing and sponsorship of sports and other events. Health problems connected with alcohol consumption include liver disease, epilepsy, and many forms of cancer. The WHO Report maintains that countries can do more – such as impose an alcohol tax similar to that instituted by the tobacco industry – to prevent related injuries, disease, and death.

Young adults are especially at risk of negative consequences. For men between the ages of 15 and 59, alcohol is the leading cause of death worldwide. Men are at higher risk of hazardous drinking behaviors than women, and the number of men engaging in heavy, weekly drinking episodes is four times that of women.

While some people have no problem drinking responsibly, others clearly struggle. The more alcohol a person consumes, the higher the chances of becoming dependent. WHO figures estimate that 11 percent of worldwide drinkers participate in consistent, heavy drinking. Some people are able to self-manage excessive alcohol use before it evolves into addiction, but others may need additional help. The Family Guidance Center has resources for treatment for alcohol dependence or addiction. Though the factors for alcoholism are multi-faceted, help from mental health professionals and treatment plans based on a person’s goals can alter the outcome. Contact the Family Guidance Center for more information about Addiction Treatment Services.

Binge Drinking Produces Immediate and Long-Term Consequences

Alcoholism 7Binge drinking is defined in America as four or more consecutive drinks for a woman and five or more drinks for a man on a single occasion. It is unhealthy and produces many negative outcomes – some in the short-term and others more long range.

Short-term Consequences
Perhaps the most common consequence of binge drinking is the next day’s hangover. Feeling nauseated, tired and suffering a headache after a night of drinking may seem like a small price to pay – but it’s the body’s way to letting you know that it has been poisoned. You may vomit for the same reason.

Longer-term Consequences
People who start out binging on the weekends often see their drinking start to bleed over in their weekdays too. Around 25 percent of those who begin by binge drinking go on to develop a regular drinking habit. When that happens, alcohol starts to affect work, school, relationships and health, including fertility among both men and women.

Alcohol affects the brain both short-term and long-term. In the short-term, drinking affects a person’s ability to speak and behave normally. It also makes them less inhibited and less capable of making sound judgments. Car accidents, risky sex, altercations and injuries are the short-term consequences of impeding the brain with alcohol. Over longer amounts of time drinking can lead to depression which can, in turn, drive further drinking.

And, most people are aware that long-term drinking can do serious and irreparable harm to the liver – the organ chiefly responsible for filtering alcohol. Cancers and other chronic illnesses are also related to long-term drinking.

Binge drinking is most often practiced by young men, but not by them exclusively. And, it can quickly become a more static problem. Just one episode of binge drinking can cause deadly alcohol poisoning which is another way to say you can die from an overdose of alcohol. If you or someone near you is consuming too much alcohol weekend after weekend, it’s time to get help. Family Guidance can offer that help. Call today.