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Side Effects of Alcohol Poisoning

The habit of drinking oodles of alcohol, can lead to the side effects of alcohol poisoning, which are quite grave. Help yourself and others, control their drinking ways, and lean towards a more responsible way of consuming alcohol...
Naomi Sarah
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
'Binge drinking', is a term labeled on those who consume more than five drinks in one sitting. Those who aim at getting drunk during a span of a single evening / day, that is, within a few hours are likely to experience the side effects of alcohol poisoning.
When alcohol poisoning takes place, it isn't necessarily a condition that falls upon alcoholics, but others as well. Binge drinking is also when one mixes different alcohol types like whiskey, rum, gin, wine and so on, including repetitive shots (drinking it neat), that can lead to severe alcohol poisoning. It can inflict a lot of harmful effects on the body, as well as social outbursts like creating a drunken scene, drunk driving, accidents, harming others, and so on. Those who drink alone, are likely to go through rough patches in their lives, experiencing depression and loneliness, using this as their motive for drinking.
Acute Alcohol Poisoning
The factors that can lead to acute alcohol poisoning:
  • How strong is the alcohol that one is consuming? Is it neat, or mixed with a juice / soda / tonic?
  • How fast is he/she downing one drink?
  • How fast can the body metabolize the alcohol intake?
  • Has the person eaten before drinking, or is he/she on an empty stomach?
  • How many drinks can he/she down? Do they have the capacity to do so, or are they pushing their bodies into doing it?
  • Seizure
  • No reaction when pain is inflicted
  • Dazed and confused
  • Absent minded
  • Semi conscious
  • Difficult to wake up the person
  • Cold, clammy hands
  • Pale skin
  • Breathing rate slows down
  • Bluish tinted skin
  • Loss of consciousness
Immediate Side Effects of Alcohol Poisoning
The side effects of alcohol poisoning are so severe that they can ruin the health of the person and he may have to face serious health complications. The person should seek immediate medical help.
Breathing Difficulties
When under the influence of too much alcohol, one may slip into a coma. He/she can cease breathing altogether because of the alcohol's effect on the nerves. The involuntary functions are seriously affected by excess alcohol in the body. Eventually, the person may stop breathing completely. This may result in his death.
One can experience a cold flush from drinking too much alcohol. The alcohol dilates blood vessels, thus leading to a quick loss of heat from the body, making one feel cold and clammy. The skin may turn bluish. Dizziness and vomiting may lead to fainting. Even seizures can occur due to a quick drop in blood sugar levels.
Uncoordinated Movement
A person cannot function well, when under the influence of alcohol. He is not able to walk right, he may speak in a gibberish way. He may fall asleep, and may not be able to wake up no matter how hard you try. This is a case of acute alcohol poisoning where the person loses consciousness. The only way to help the person is to either call the ambulance or perform CPR if his/her breathing stops.
Excessive vomiting eventually leads to dehydration. Severe dehydration can permanently damage the brain.
Another very common side effect is a hangover. This happens when one drinks way too much alcohol, that the body cannot process, or when one mixes different alcohol types in one sitting. It is an unpleasant feeling of constant nausea, and throwing up at different intervals of the next day, since the body needs to rid itself of the excess alcohol. A quick remedy for this, is to eat bananas or drink a milkshake that is banana-based, since it has a lot of sugar content and allows blood sugar levels to spike, making you feel better.
Impaired Gag Reflex
One can vomit so excessively, that he/she may choke on his/her vomit as the gag reflexes are suppressed. This can lead to death due to choking. Inhaling the vomit can damage lungs. This can also prove to be fatal.
Mixing Drugs with Drinks
There are many people who drink alcohol, and even include drugs during that period of consumption. Mixing drugs during binge drinking, can have severe effects on a person. Drugs like phenobarbital, tranquilizers, barbiturates, codeine, heroin, cannabis, darvocet, and opium can have detrimental effects on a person, when coalesced with alcohol.
Long-term Side Effects
  • Increased risk of kidney failure.
  • Increased chances of having a stroke, or even heart diseases
  • Dementia
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Menstrual problems and infertility in women
  • Erectile dysfunction and infertility in men
  • Memory problems
  • Inflamed pancreas
  • Skin damage, that can be permanent
  • Loss of nutrients and vitamins in the body
  • Damaged esophagus, leading to pain and difficulty in swallowing, even hemorrhage
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Gout arthritis
  • Intestinal problems
  • Birth defects in children, when women drink alcohol during pregnancy
  • Cancer of the mouth, throat, breast, tongue and liver
  • Obesity
  • Hepatitis
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Liver cirrhosis
Teens are more likely to get involved in alcohol consumption, at a much younger age than what is legal. The side effects, as you can see, aren't something to be taken lightly. If you have kids, make sure you enlighten them on alcoholism and alcohol abuse.