Alcohol Poisoning Prevention

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  • Transcript

    Last Updated: November 3, 2023

    SUPE: Hey guys, this is SUPE, the gentle dragon. Today, I want to talk to you about alcohol poisoning. You may think that it rarely happens, but you might be in to a surprise. Let’s dive into it.

    First, let’s define what alcohol poisoning is. Alcohol poisoning, also known as alcohol overdose, is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when a person consumes a large amount of alcohol in a short time. Their body may be unable to process it effectively, which causes harmful toxins to accumulate in the bloodstream.

    Let’s go over what some of the symptoms of alcohol poisoning are:

    • Confusion
    • Vomiting
    • Seizures
    • Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
    • Irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths)
    • Blue-tinged or pale skin
    • Low body temperature (hypothermia)
    • Passing out (unconsciousness) and being unable to wake up

    If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical help immediately.

    Alcohol poisoning happens when people are binge drinking which is drinking a lot of alcohol in one night. As a gauge, a pattern of heavy drinking is when a male rapidly consumes five or more alcoholic drinks within two hours, or a female rapidly consumes at least four drinks within two hours. One drink is defined as:

    • 12 ounces (355 milliliters) of regular beer (about 5% alcohol)
    • 8 to 9 ounces (237 to 266 milliliters) of malt liquor (about 7% alcohol)
    • 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine (about 12% alcohol)
    • 1.5 ounces (44 milliliters) of 80-proof hard liquor (about 40% alcohol)

    Now, unlike food, which can take hours to digest, alcohol is absorbed quickly by your body, long before most other nutrients. And it takes a lot more time for your body to get rid of the alcohol you’ve consumed. Most alcohol is processed, metabolized by your liver. There are a bunch of things that can make you more likely to get alcohol poisoning, such as:

    • Your body size and weight
    • How healthy you are in general
    • Whether or not you’ve had a meal lately
    • If you’ve taken any other drugs along with alcohol
    • How strong the drinks you’re having are
    • How quickly you’re drinking and how much you’re having
    • And how much you’re used to drinking, your tolerance level

    Now, let’s get to “Preeeeeeeeeevention!” Really dragged that one out, didn’t I? Sorry everybody! Now let me teach you the dos and don’ts. Here’s what you need to do. If you’re with someone who’s had too much to drink, it’s important to look after them and make sure they stay safe. Here are some things you can do to help:

    • Stay with them, because there’s a risk they could choke on their own vomit or stop breathing.
    • Sit them up if they’re awake or put them in the recovery position if they’ve passed out, and check that they’re breathing properly.
    • Give them some water to sip if they’re able to swallow.
    • Keep them warm by giving them a jacket or blanket.

    Here are the big don’ts:

    • Do not let them drink more alcohol. It might seem like it would help, but it can actually make things worse.
    • Do not give them coffee or drinks with caffeine, as it makes them more dehydrated.
    • Do not put them in a cold shower or bath. This could cause them to get too cold or fall and get hurt.
    • Do not try to make them vomit. This won’t help and could actually make things worse.

    Remember, the best thing you can do for someone with alcohol poisoning is to get them medical help right away. Call 911 or take them to the hospital as soon as possible.

    There are a few things you can do to prevent alcohol poisoning:

    • Before and while drinking: Eating food (especially protein) slows down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream.
    • Avoid mixing alcohol with other drugs: Some prescription and over-the-counter drugs, like antihistamines and sedatives, can make the effects of alcohol stronger. Caffeine and stimulants, like energy drinks, can trick you into feeling less drunk than you actually are.
    • Avoid “mega” drinks: Drinks like Long Island Iced Tea, AMF, Margaritas or Kamikazes can contain five or more times the alcohol of a standard drink.
    • Drink a large glass of water between drinks. It will keep you hydrated and slow down your drinking.
    • Set your limit before you start: Think about what you have planned for tomorrow, like early classes or sports competitions. Drinking too much can slow down your thinking and affect your performance.
    • Avoid drinking games: They encourage you to drink a lot quickly, which can lead to dangerous levels of drunkenness and memory loss. Plus, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’ve had when you’re focused on the game.

    On this last one, when you have a drink or 2, it can be very easy to get in on these drinking games to fit in or succumb to peer pressure. You can watch our video on peer pressure. It’ll help you with this.

    I hope you got something out of this video and now understand the serious risks of alcohol poisoning. My aim was to make sure you don’t fall victim to alcohol poisoning and to teach you how to help someone who might be experiencing it. But guys, there is a 100% proof prevention method, and it’s not to drink alcohol. [laughs] Live a drug-free life!

    Sources: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcohol-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20354386
    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/alcohol-poisoning/
    https://inside.ewu.edu/bewell/current-health-topics/alcohol-poisoning-prevention/
    https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/how-to-hold-your-liquor

let's get Started

  • | What is alcohol poisoning?
      Get Answer Here — 0:17  
  • | Name a few symptoms of alcohol poisoning.
      Get Answer Here — 0:41  
  • | What should you do if you experience any of these symptoms or witness someone having them?
      Get Answer Here — 1:08  
  • | How many drinks is heavy drinking for a man? And for a woman?
      Get Answer Here — 1:23  
  • | Name a few things that make you more likely to have alcohol poisoning.
      Get Answer Here — 2:28  
  • | Name a few things you need to do if you witness someone experiencing alcohol poisoning.
      Get Answer Here — 3:06  
  • | Name a few things you should do to avoid alcohol poisoning.
      Get Answer Here — 4:18  
  • | What is the 100% proof prevention method to avoid alcohol poisoning?
      Get Answer Here — 5:58  

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