Alcohol poisoning occurs when the body has a toxic reaction to too much drinking. Anyone who drinks large quantities of alcohol, or even smaller amounts of alcohol too quickly, is susceptible to this condition. It can cause serious brain damage or eve be fatal.
Getting very drunk to the point of passing out is often seen as being humorous or taken very lightly in some societies. It's a myth that when a drunken person is passed out, he or she is "sleeping it off." The fact is that, even when a person drinks to the point of passing out, his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is still rising. This is because the alcohol is still present in the intestine and stomach and is still going through the bloodstream.
Vomiting is often seen as a harmless result of over-drinking, but in reality, it can be the body's reaction to toxic levels of alcohol. People have different tolerance levels to the drug — and it is important for people to remember that alcohol is a drug. Alcohol depresses the choking reflex and respiratory functioning, and drunken people have died from choking on their own vomit. All the black coffee and cold showers in the world won't work to "sober up" a person experiencing the symptoms of alcohol use.
Vomiting, confusion, slowed or irregular breathing, and seizures are possible symptoms of alcohol poisoning. Hypothermia, or low body temperature, is another symptom, and the skin may have a bluish appearance or look pale. Medical attention must be sought immediately when a person is displaying these symptoms!
When a person showing symptoms of alcohol poisoning in brought to the emergency room, blood is taken to find out how much alcohol is in his or her system. He or she may have to consume a charcoal-based liquid because the charcoal absorbs the alcohol so that some of its effects on the body are hopefully reduced. Since excessive alcohol can seriously dehydrate the body, especially when vomiting occurs, the patient may be given fluids intravenously. In the most severe cases, the stomach is usually pumped and medications may be given. Some patients may need to stay in the hospital for observation.