Woman drinking alcohol

Between 2006 and 2010, around 88,000 people died each year from excessive use of alcohol, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol poisoning occurs when an individual has consumed excessive amounts of alcohol that the liver is unable to process, resulting in a high blood alcohol level that is toxic, or poisonous. If you suspect that someone you know has alcohol poisoning, seek professional medical help immediately.

The prevalence of alcohol abuse

Across the nation, 17 million people are struggling with an alcohol abuse issue, per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol addiction knows no bounds; there is no single type of person it targets, but certain individuals are more susceptible. Those who begin drinking prior to the age of 15 are five times more likely to become an alcoholic than people who abstain from drinking until they are 21 years old, per the CDC. NIAAA reports that alcohol abuse is all too common among our nation’s youth, citing 50 percent of teens as having one or more alcoholic beverages by the time they are 15 and over 70 percent of teens having a drink by the time they turn 18.

Those with mental health disorders are more likely to abuse alcohol and become dependent on it. In America alone, there were 45.9 million adults suffering with mental health disorders in 2011, per The Atlantic. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports 37 percent of alcoholics have one or more severe mental health disorders.

Individuals who grew up in a household where alcohol was regularly abused and those with a parent who is an alcoholic are more vulnerable to developing the illness themselves. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry states that having an alcohol-dependent parent makes you four times as likely to become dependent on alcohol yourself.

Risks of alcohol poisoning

Alcohol poisoning can have serious side effects and even lead to death if not treated immediately. Around 50,000 people suffer from alcohol poisoning each and every year, per Medical News Today.

Those who experience alcohol poisoning risk serious consequences, such as:

  • Choking on and aspirating one’s own vomit
  • Depressed or cessated breathing
  • Seizures
  • Dehydration
  • Hypothermia
  • Brain damage
  • Death

Signs of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Confusion, stupor, coma, or trouble waking up
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Taking fewer than eight breaths in one minute
  • More than 10 seconds passing between breaths taken
  • Blue-tinted skin or paleness signaling hypothermia

Treatment for alcohol abuse

Of the 1,749,767 people who entered treatment for substance abuse and addiction in 2012, 39 percent were there due to alcohol abuse, per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — you are not alone. If you have recently suffered from alcohol poisoning and realize that you need help to gain control of your drinking, contact us today. Our comprehensive treatment programs can get you on the path to a balanced, healthier life. We’re here 24 hours a day to take your call.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.