Alcohol Poisoning: 5 Symptoms You Should Know About

Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning is a serious — and sometimes deadly — consequence of consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short period. Understanding its symptoms is crucial in identifying this dangerous condition and seeking immediate medical help. This blog post delves into the five key symptoms of alcohol poisoning and discusses the phases of alcohol intoxication that can lead to poisoning.

1. Confusion and Disorientation

One of the earliest signs of alcohol poisoning is a noticeable level of confusion or disorientation. This symptom manifests as difficulty in understanding where one is, struggling to recognize familiar people or places, or seeming visibly bewildered. Alcohol impacts the brain’s ability to process information and form memories, leading to this state of confusion. If you notice someone having trouble understanding their surroundings or appearing unusually perplexed after drinking, it’s a red flag.

2. Vomiting

Excessive drinking often leads to vomiting, a reflex action as the body attempts to rid itself of the toxin. However, in the context of alcohol poisoning, vomiting can be dangerous. It increases the risk of choking, particularly if the person is not fully conscious or if they lie on their back. Vomiting also leads to severe dehydration, compounding the toxicity and increasing the risk of harm.

3. Irregular Breathing

One of the more alarming symptoms of alcohol poisoning is irregular breathing. This can mean either breathing less than eight times a minute or having gaps of more than 10 seconds between breaths. Alcohol depresses the nervous system, which can slow down breathing and affect its regularity. Irregular breathing in someone who has consumed a lot of alcohol is a sign that immediate medical attention is needed.

4. Hypothermia

Alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate, leading to a rapid loss of body heat – a condition known as hypothermia. Signs of hypothermia include cold, clammy, bluish-colored skin, especially around the lips and fingertips. This symptom is particularly dangerous because it’s often overlooked, especially if the person is indoors or it’s not a particularly cold day.

5. Unconsciousness or Stupor

One of the most severe symptoms of alcohol poisoning is when a person reaches a state of stupor or unconsciousness. They may be unresponsive to stimuli, unable to be awakened, or slip in and out of consciousness. This is an emergency situation, as the risk of choking, breathing difficulties, and other complications are high.

Phases of Alcohol Poisoning

Understanding the progression of alcohol poisoning helps in recognizing the seriousness of the situation. For more information on alcohol poisoning, click here. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Euphoria Phase: Characterized by a sense of happiness, talkativeness, and increased self-confidence. However, this phase can also include impaired judgment and coordination.
  • Excitement Phase: Marked by emotional instability, loss of critical judgment, impairment of memory and comprehension, and decreased response to stimuli.
  • Confusion Phase: Characterized by disorientation, mental confusion, dizziness, and often a lack of awareness of surroundings.
  • Stupor Phase: At this stage, individuals may lapse into and out of consciousness. They are unresponsive to most stimuli but might respond to painful stimuli.
  • Coma Phase: This is a critical phase where the individual is unconscious and does not respond to any stimuli, including pain. The risk of death is significant due to respiratory arrest or other complications.
  • Death: This is the final and most tragic phase of severe alcohol poisoning, often due to respiratory failure, heart attack, severe dehydration, or choking.


What is Alcohol Poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning is a serious and potentially deadly condition resulting from consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period. It occurs when alcohol in the bloodstream reaches a level that interferes with vital bodily functions, leading to critical symptoms such as vomiting, unconsciousness, and breathing difficulties.

What Causes Alcohol Poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning is typically caused by binge drinking – consuming multiple drinks in a short period. The body can only process a certain amount of alcohol per hour, and consuming more than this amount leads to a rapid increase in blood alcohol concentration (BAC), resulting in alcohol poisoning.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning?

Key signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning include severe confusion, vomiting, seizures, slow or irregular breathing, hypothermia (low body temperature), unconsciousness, and pale or blue-tinged skin. Immediate medical attention is crucial if these symptoms are observed.

How is Alcohol Poisoning Treated?

Treatment for alcohol poisoning primarily involves supportive care. This includes monitoring vital signs, managing breathing, and preventing choking and dehydration. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required to provide intravenous fluids, breathing support, and other necessary interventions. There is no specific antidote for alcohol poisoning, making prevention and early treatment critical.

Can Alcohol Poisoning be Prevented?

Yes, alcohol poisoning can be prevented. Key prevention strategies include drinking alcohol in moderation, understanding personal limits, avoiding binge drinking, and not mixing alcohol with other substances. It’s also important to consume food and water when drinking and to recognize the early signs of intoxication to prevent overconsumption.

  1. Alcohol poisoning is real at least I have experienced this before I was just vomiting and vomiting some more. Very bad experience.

  2. This information is useful. Very educative and relevant. The concerned people should maximize it to avoid lots of life. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This is so educative nd informative from the definition of what alcohol poisoning is to the symptoms and also how to help in a such situations. I’m sure I’ll no be of great help in such situation now.

  4. The worse symptom of alcohol poisoning for me is loss of consciousness. there’s a good chance they won’t wake up again. one needs to avoid this

  5. Alcohol poisoning is a very detrimental to the body system. Causing all manners of havoc such as vomiting, slow shallow, unconsciousness it’s good to take care of the body..

  6. This is a great article. The conclusion of the matter is that we should stay away from alcohol because it can kill us. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  7. Wow, this post is so educative. Alcohol poisoning is really a bad thing anyone can experience because it can lead to death. Thanks for sharing

  8. Amazing just so amazing. This is so well detailed and very informative. Thank you detox for this it will really come in handy.

  9. This is a very educative article. I’ve learnt about Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and its implications at various levels in the body. Moreso, I now have the basic knowledge to identify and help an alcohol poisoning victim.

  10. Wow this is a very informative and detailed article. I have never known the dangers effects of too much alcohol only knew of the long term once of liver cirrhosis not all this so thanks so much.

  11. Alcohol poisoning is a common problem in developing countries of the world and knowing it’s symptoms will actually help to understand this problem better.

  12. This article proves me right on why I don’t take alcohol. Overall, I am happy that there is solution that I can administer to someone who might likely have alcohol poisoning.

  13. Overconsumption of alcohol leads to early death..I don’t understand why people drink so much alcohol to the detriment of their thing about alcohol is it becomes harder to know you have consumed to much alcohol when you take too much alcohol..thanks for posting the top five symptoms to watch out for to prevent alcohol poisoning..I’m sure a lot of people will find this article useful. I will surely share this article with my friends… appreciate this useful post

  14. I have always seen alcohol as a dangerous drink to take. Now reading that it causes breathing problem won’t even make me go near it. Thanks for this informative post.

  15. Inability to control one’s bladder is a serious problem which can hasten the victim’s death. Thanks for this revelation.

  16. Alcohol poisoning is very common nowadays. Some people think that they are just drunk but sober people can clearly identify if a person is having alcohol poisoning. Please be careful guys.

  17. This is quite dangerous to both the addicts and their family. It is better not to engage in alcohol at all.

  18. You did a great job by giving information about this. Everyone should know these five symptoms. Thanks for sharing this blog.

  19. Do not know how many people’s lives were ruined due to the addiction of drugs. You did a great job by telling about these five traits.

  20. This is very good information. Thank you for telling. Everyone should know about the five symptoms. Thanks for sharing this blog.

  21. This is definitely new to me. This is are these from legit drinks or just expired ones? It happens but rarely!!!! It is dangerous none the less, A very interesting topic even for me.

  22. 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.

  23. I am a Muslim and selling alcohol is prohibited in my country. But despite all this, some people still manage to get alcohol from some unknown places and many people actually die due to alcohol poisoning. I think they drink substandard alcohol and die as a result of that.

  24. I am now conversant with the symptoms of alcohol poisoning. As a result, people should desist from engaging in alcolism. Big thanks go to Detox for the update.

  25. The five symptoms of alcohol poisoning have been well discussed and noted. Nonetheless, people should desist from excessive intake of alcohol to avoid being poisoned.

  26. This is quite informative article. You can identify these signs with people who are addict’s, and knowing that chocking from one’s vomits when drunk can kill them will make you take it seriously.

  27. When a person’s body takes in a lot of alcohol in a short amount of time, alcohol poisoning, an acute ailment, is caused. Neurochemicals are essential because the brain utilises them to control all thoughts, moods, and bodily processes. Alcohol has a somewhat different effects on each person’s neurochemical production and reception. For this reason, having a few drinks occasionally might feel fantastic. It’s also the reason excessive alcohol use is risky. Additionally, it is difficult to recognise when you’ve had too much alcohol the more you drink.

  28. I’d rather prefer to abstain from alcohol than cut down on it. I’ve noticed it never works well with my GIT. Thanks for this beautiful piece though.

  29. That’s unfortunate that alcoholic causes untimely death, unplanned death. That’s why it is advised not to take when you aren’t strong for it. Being addictive is wrong, alcohol should be drink once in a while and not being an addict of it. Thanks alot for bringing this helpful information here.

  30. This is a very nurturing article. A lot of new learnings here. This is also why, we should be more cautious and just drink alcohol in moderation.

  31. The fact that the more you take alcohol the less aware you become of its effects on you is actually scary. I can see how that can lead to alcohol poisoning pretty fast.

  32. I think it’s vital that everyone understands what alcohol poisoning is, how to detect it and how to stop it. This could potentially save thousands of lives every day.

  33. Very important steps to take in the instance of a life emergency due to alcohol. I think voicing these concerns preemptively as well, to someone who regularly abuses alcohol is a must. Thanks for listing the signs and solutions in this crucial discussion.

  34. It’s sad that many know alcohol is harmful and they still consume. Teens are also involved in consumption which risks their lifes.

  35. Wow! I never knew there was anything like alcohol poisoning. This article has added to my knowledge, most people do not know how to determine their blood alcohol content level. Thanks for sharing

  36. People who don’t get treated may end up with permanent damage to their organs – which depends on how severe the alcohol poisoning is. It may lead to other injuries that may happen while too much-drinking alcohol.

  37. Drinking excessively is almost always lethal, and people should always be aware of that fact when they’re out partying and having a lot of alcohol. Alcohol poisoning is another huge risk to watch out for, and sadly in a party where almost all people are too drunk to care, they could all miss the signs, such as the case with the tragic death of a teenager during a sleepover because of it. It really pays to know such symptoms before another tragedy happens, that is why the urgent need for moderate and responsible drinking.

  38. I think alcohol level testers should be available in bars and drinking spots. That way people can keep a better check on their intoxication levels.

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