Alcohol Abuse and Overdose: The Risks
Abusing alcohol can wreak havoc on an individual’s life. All facets of one’s existence can be negatively impacted as the acquiring, consuming, and recovering from this substance becomes his or her top priority. Because alcohol is so easily accessible, it is one of the number one substances of abuse. And although its consumption is legal for those over the age of 21 in the United States, it does not mean that it is safe.
The longer that an individual abuses alcohol, the more prominent that abuse will become. In other words, individuals may begin to drink greater amounts of alcohol or drink more frequently. As this alcohol abuse continues, an individual’s body will develop a tolerance to the substance, resulting in the need for greater amounts to be consumed in order for the desired effects to occur. As the dosage of or frequency with which alcohol is consumed increases, the greater the risk becomes that an individual will experience an overdose, also known as alcohol poisoning. Therefore, it is important that individual receives treatment from a rehab center to prevent an overdose from occurring.
The Signs of Alcohol Overdose
When an individual consumes more alcohol than his or her body is capable of metabolizing or excreting, he or she will likely suffer an overdose. Due to the fact that alcohol affects everyone differently, it is impossible to know how much alcohol needs to be consumed before an overdose will occur. For some individuals, it can happen after consuming many drinks while, for others, it may only take two or three. Regardless of how much has actually been consumed, when an overdose occurs, it can be life-threatening. Signs that could indicate that someone has overdosed on alcohol may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Incoherent speech
- Shallow or slowed breathing
- Loss of skin tone
- Clammy skin
- Dulled responses
- Loss of consciousness
What to Do If a Person is Showing Signs of Alcohol Overdose
If you suspect that someone is suffering from alcohol poisoning, or has overdosed on a combination of alcohol and another substance, emergency medical care must be sought immediately. Calling 9-1-1 can mean the difference between life and death. If possible, you can be of great assistance in getting this person the care he or she needs by providing the following information:
- The amount of alcohol that you suspect the person has consumed
- The type of alcohol that you believe has been consumed (e.g. beer, wine, vodka, etc.)
- Whether or not other substances were consumed as well, such as prescription medications
- The specific symptoms that you recognized as potentially being indicative that an overdose occurred
- The length of time that has passed since you first noticed the onset of those symptoms
Additionally, if this individual has been struggling with alcohol dependency, it can be advantageous to inform emergency responders or other medical personnel of the length of time that you believe the alcohol abuse has been occurring.
Even if you are unsure as to whether or not an individual has truly overdosed, it is always best to err on the side of caution and not hesitate to call 9-1-1.
If you, yourself, believe that you have consumed too much alcohol and are fearful that you are overdosing, if you are able to, you should call 9-1-1 or ask someone else to. If you are capable, providing the previously mentioned information to medical personnel would be extremely beneficial. But even if you are unable to do so, emergency responders will be able to assist you in getting the care you need; care that could be life-saving.
When an individual experiences an overdose, it frequently indicates that he or she is struggling with an alcohol abuse problem. In some cases, alcohol poisoning could be a one-time occurrence; the result of unknowingly consuming too much of the substance during a single night of excessive partying. In many cases, however, the chronic consumption of alcohol can lead to an increase in the amount consumed as an individual strives to achieve the desired effects, ultimately resulting in an overdose. When this is the case, receiving comprehensive treatment from a rehab center in order to overcome one’s addictive behaviors is necessary.
At Mirror Lake Recovery Center, we recognize the detriments that an addiction to alcohol can impose on an individual’s life. For this reason, we have created treatment options that are designed to provide people with the all-encompassing care that they need in order to win the war against their addictions. In our center’s residential setting, individuals are able to step away from the stress of their everyday lives and place all of their focus on recovering. Detoxification services are also available, offering individuals the ability to have alcohol safely and effectively removed from their systems while ensuring their comfort.
If you or a loved one is battling an addiction to alcohol, please do not hesitate to contact the knowledgeable professionals at Mirror Lake Recovery Center today. Our rehab center, located in Burns, Tennessee, is here to help you rediscover a life that is not tainted by the compulsion to abuse alcohol.