Memory Loss, Blackouts, & Binge Drinking Dangers

Memory lapse, adult caucasian male with inability to remember, confused and concerned

Years ago, a little bit of binge drinking used to be looked at as normal, especially for the younger generation. Many students in high school and college admit to binge drinking on occasion. However, binge drinking isn’t harmless.  In fact, it can lead to blackouts, or alcohol-induced amnesia, which are periods of time where you lose consciousness.  You may have heard them described as being “black out drunk”. During that time, you can experience dangerous situations or serious health problems.

What Does Alcohol Blackout Mean?

Let’s look at alcohol blackouts a bit further. According to Healthline, a blackout is “a temporary condition that affects your memory.”  It occurs when one drinks excessive alcohol. According to PubMed, around 50 percent of those whose blood alcohol level goes past .20 percent are likely to experience a blackout.

A blackout can be partial or complete. A partial blackout means that one may still remember some things that occurred, but not all.  A complete blackout means that one cannot remember anything that occurred during the blackout and that memory loss is permanent.

What Happens During An Alcohol Blackout?

One who experiences a blackout may have trouble talking, standing up, walking, have a tough time seeing, and their judgement will be impaired.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 88,000 people die from an alcohol-related cause each year. This may include drunk driving accidents, as well as severe health problems.

How Many Drinks Constitute Binge Drinking?

Every hour, the liver can only process about 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol.  You’ll find this amount in:

  • 5 oz. of wine that is 12% alcohol
  • 1 bottle of 12 oz. beer that is 5% alcohol
  • 5 oz. of hard liquor at 40% alcohol

According to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a woman who drinks more than four alcohol drinks and a man who drinks more than five drinks within two hours is binge drinking.

Binge Drinking Dangers & Health Effects

Even occasional binge drinking can cause harm to the mind and body. Short-term effects include:

  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Decreased attention span
  • Dehydration
  • Emotional issues
  • In pregnant women, chances of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders increase
  • Alcohol poisoning, which can lead to serious symptoms, including death

Long-term effects of binge drinking include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Emotional and/or mental health problems
  • Heart disease
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Poor immune system
  • Liver issues
  • Stroke
  • Chronic diseases
  • Memory issues
  • Alcohol poisoning, which could lead to death

Blackouts And Passing Out

Blackouts are different than when someone passes out.  If an individual passes out, their consciousness state is as if they were asleep. It’s likely that they would not respond if someone were talking to them, just as if they were sleeping. However, when an individual experiences a blackout, they may still be able to talk to people and make decisions and do things. It may seem as if they are fully conscious, but the next day they will not remember what occurred.

College students report binge drinking and blacking out more so than any other population. Of course, this is quite risky and increases their chances of experiencing serious consequences, including trouble with the law, sexual assault, violence, accidents, and financial hardship.

Is Binge Drinking A Sign Of Addiction?

Binge drinking can be a sign of addiction, but there are other factors involved. For example, someone may binge drink twice a month, every month, and they may not be addicted to alcohol. They may simply like to let loose and get inebriated a couple times a month because they think it’s fun. The rest of the month they tend to leave alcohol alone.

However, someone who binge drinks regularly and cannot seem to stop even though they want to, could be addicted to alcohol. If binge drinking is causing them problems, that’s another sign that they may have become dependent upon alcohol.

Reach Out For Help

Are you or a loved one struggling with binge drinking? Are you experiencing blackouts or being black out drunk? If so, know that there are effective treatments for alcohol addiction. Even if you’re not drinking every day, you may still be dependent on alcohol. The first step toward getting free is admitting that you’re struggling and then, reach out for help.

You can overcome binge drinking.  Take your first step today and seek help from a professional addiction recovery expert or treatment center.

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57 comments
  1. I’m really learning a lot on this blog. It creates more awareness about happenings and occurrences around us

  2. This binge has a lot of short and long term effects on people addicted to it. Thank you for sharing this information. You’re really enlightening me

  3. Binge drinking comes with a lot of issues and it is better to avoid io stay clean even from inside. If you can’t on your own then it is time to seek help

  4. Alcohol black out is really bad because that moment you are not yourself, it doesn’t worth the stress. Thanks for sharing this

  5. Excessive drinking on consumption of alcohol leads to memory loss. I know of people who were affected by this that God was the one that delivered them. Thanks.

  6. I have experienced a blackout before after taking some drinks, i was forced by my cousin and it wasn’t funny at all. All the same i was okay by the next morning and i never try drinking again. Others that can’t stop on their own can reach out to the right people for help.

  7. And the irony is every drinker knows this. Perhaps bot in a medical manner but they at least experience these once. However, they just keep going??? Well that is addiction I suppose.

  8. These are caused by the uncontrollable appetite for alcohol. Those who can control the intake of alcohol don’t know how grateful they should be.

  9. Interesting!! So, binge drinking is very harmful. This article has provided enough information on binge drinking and its effect. Well done writer.

  10. There are so many danger for those involved in any form of addiction. Just like it was analysed in this post, memory loss, blackout are really terrible

  11. This is a nice write up which I feel everyone should consume and digest. Especially, Alcohol addicts.

  12. Yes, memory loss a major effect of alcohol. Many don’t understand that the side effects of alcohol is more than the good they THINK is giving them.

  13. Binge drinking is not good for health. It causes serious problem in our health. It should be discouraged. Thank you.

  14. So, alcohol blackout can affect one’s memory. Then, one should just run away from alcohol then because of its harm.

  15. This is an ugly situation. Blackout is not something desirable and needs to be careful watched by most alcohol drinkers. Forgetting memorable day and years of one’s life isn’t an interesting occurrence. This information need wide awareness.

  16. Anything that can affect the heart must be avoided at all cost. Thanks for this piece of information.

  17. This is quite educative and informative, thank you for explaining binge drinking and addiction. Detox to rehab thanks for sharing this amazing tips.

  18. This blackout is very detrimental to human health. In which your memory is totally erased thanks for sharing this post.

  19. So many don’t know they are experiencing this Addiction aftermath due to Their abuse of Drugs.
    This information have to be shared across.

  20. ThIs post reveals the side effect of alcohol. Alcohol addiction do cause blackout to its users. People should control their addiction to alcohol.

  21. Even if you’re not drinking every day, you may still be dependent on alcohol. The first step toward getting free is admitting that you’re struggling and then, reach out for help. Let take a good step now.

  22. No matter how critical you think your Addiction is, always know that Recovery is possible.
    You just have to seek the proper help needed.

  23. This post has been very educative on alcohol addiction. Taking alcohol has many long term negative effects apart from blackout, which are detrimental to health.

  24. I know that alcohol drinking has a plethora of disadvantages but I have never heard of alcohol blackout before . Thanks for writing a whole article about alcohol blackout and how to seek help. I’m glad to know there are effective help for this type of addiction. People need to read this article

  25. Most alcohol takers don’t know the effects of taking the substance. This post has enlighten us on those effects in long and short term. The best solution is to abstain from alcohol.

  26. Most users of alcohol do not know the effects of alcohol addiction. Abstinence from alcohol addiction is the key.

  27. Thanks for the in-depth information on binge drinking, its symptoms and its long term effects. It is a serious issue that demands help and examination.

  28. This information is very essential for a whole lot of people to always hear it it’s a life changing one. You’re doing a great job

  29. I have experienced partial black out once. I never thought I could be drunk like that! After that scenario of my life, I have never drink alcohol the same way before. It was the most scariest time of my life!

  30. The long term effects are killing. Let us all avoid it. May God deliver those who are addicted to it in Jesus name.

  31. Binging on anything has it’s flaws not to talk of alcohols. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Thanks for this insightful one.

  32. Alcohol is not for everyone, as such not everyone is capable of knowing how to binge. It is best you abstain totally from drinking and get yourself tangled in something that would get a grip on you.

  33. Binge drinking comes with a lot of issues and it is better to avoid io stay clean even from inside.aking alcohol has many long term negative effects apart from blackout, which are detrimental to health.

  34. Bringe drinking is unwholesome to people’s health. Besides, memory loss is highly embarrassing. However, big thanks go to Detox for this piece of information.

  35. A very educative one here. I’m so glad I came across this thanks for enlightening us. Now I can see the damage one will face.

  36. Thus article is highly informative and educative. Indeed, I have learnt more about bringe drinking and memory loss which affect people’s health adversely. Kudos go to Detox for enlightening people.

  37. This is well detailed piece. I never knew that binge drinking has anything to do with addiction. This article is really informative and educative.

  38. From the article, it’s obvious that the consequences of binge drinking far outweighs whatever fun and euphoria it may occasion. It’s best to desists from such acts.
    Thanks Detox to Rehab for this information.

  39. Just as they say cause and effect… Every habits, be it positive or negative has its effect… Am glad when I see post on the effect and way out so that I can help people around who needs it.

  40. Thank you Detax to rehab for sharing these type of stories with all of us.These stories are really very much inspirational for many people who are addicted with something and try to recover from that

  41. I remember I once suffered a blackout after a crazy college party never knew the cause. Love the article as it explains the whole Science of binge drinking and blackout and many more health effects, thanks.

  42. People need to understand that too much drinking can cause a wide variety of things including accidents. If we want to avoid those things, we need to avoid alcoholic drinks.

  43. All these problems are often seen in regular drinker so it is important to give up these thinks so that you can get better future for yourself and your family

  44. The article states that the human liver can process around 0.6 ounces of alcohol, but I think that when a person becomes addicted to alcohol, his consumption increases. This is why so many experts believe that even “moderate” drinking is bad for health. So-called “moderate” drinking will lead to addiction and when addiction gets out of control, people lose control over themselves. This is why my religion (Islam) prohibits drinking alcohol and I can understand the wisdom behind it.

  45. Once a person drinks up to 4 or 5 times a day, to me that person is addicted to alcohol. Binge drinking is equally as dangerous to a person, especially with regards to the long term effect. The best for such a person is to go for treatment.

  46. Taking excessive alcohol without knowing the limit your body can carry or take is injurious to one’s health. This write up is highly informative.

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