Alcohol Abuse and Overdose: The Risks
While many people over the age of 21 are able to consume alcohol on occasion without experiencing any adversity, there are others who quickly find that they are incapable of controlling the amount that they drink or the frequency with which they drink. And once individuals become trapped in a cycle of alcohol abuse, all facets of their lives can be negatively impacted.
When people consume alcohol excessively and on an ongoing basis, their bodies can become tolerant to the substance. This tolerance forces an individual to have to consume more of alcohol in order to achieve the desired effects. As the tolerance increases and the alcohol consumption subsequently increases, a physical dependency on the substance can develop, meaning that the individual’s body can no longer function when alcohol is not present. In this case, when a person then attempts to stop using alcohol, his or her body will struggle to readapt to functioning without the presence of the substance, resulting in a period of withdrawal. Due to the fact that withdrawing from alcohol is typically such an uncomfortable process, many individuals resort back to drinking to alleviate the distress that they are experiencing.
When the abuse of alcohol remains ongoing, individuals are susceptible to experiencing an overdose, also known as alcohol poisoning, which has the potential to be fatal.
The Signs of Alcohol Overdose
An alcohol overdose occurs when a person consumes more wine, beer, or liquor than his or her body is capable of metabolizing or excreting. In some instances, individuals may combine other substances, such as prescription medications, with alcohol, which can increase their risk for experiencing an overdose. The signs that are displayed by a person who has overdosed will vary, but may include the following:
- Violent vomiting
- Slowed or shallowed breathing
- Dulled responses
- Incoherent speech
- Confusion / disorientation
- Loss of skin tone
- Clammy skin
- Loss of consciousness
What to Do If a Person is Showing Signs of Alcohol Overdose
In the event that someone displays symptoms of an overdose, emergency medical attention, or rehabilitation and treatment for alcohol addiction, should be received as soon as possible. As was previously mentioned, alcohol poisoning has the potential to be fatal, so interventions must be received in order to prevent a grave outcome.
If you are in the presence of someone who has overdosed, contact 9-1-1 immediately. Likewise, if you, yourself, have overdosed, contact 9-1-1 or, if you are unable to, request that someone else does it for you. Even if you are not sure as to whether or not an overdose has actually occurred, it is best to err on the side of caution. Once emergency medical personnel have arrived, you can be of great assistance to them by providing the following information:
- The symptoms that were displayed that led you to believe that an overdose had occurred
- The amount of alcohol that was consumed
- Any other substances that were consumed in addition to the alcohol
- Whether the person has experienced an overdose in the past
- Whether the person has any medical conditions or is taking any medications
If the above information is unknown, or if you are incapable of providing the information about yourself, inform the medical professionals of this. It will not hinder their ability to provide appropriate care.
The fact that someone has overdosed on alcohol can be a sign that he or she is battling an addiction to the substance, in which case, seeking treatment is warranted. There are various options for treatment available that can assist individuals in overcoming an addiction to alcohol, but residential care is often the most effective. By entering a residential treatment environment, individuals are not only sheltered from having access to alcohol, therefore preventing the continued use of it, but they are also provided with the opportunity to step away from the stressors and temptations of their everyday lives and instead place all of their focus on recovering.
Sober Living by the Sea, in Newport Beach, is a network of treatment & rehab providers that offer comprehensive residential treatment to individuals who are suffering from chemical dependency concerns, including alcohol addictions. The staff at these centers are dedicated to delivering individualized care so that each person is able to receive treatment that most appropriately meets their needs and treatment goals.
If you or a loved one is battling an addiction to alcohol, look no further than the premiere care & rehabilitation offered at Sober Living by the Sea. Let them help you achieve the healthy and happy life that you deserve.