The average gregarious partier may think nothing of tossing back a few drinks or shots during a night out at the bar. However, dying from alcohol poisoning is easier than it sounds. Alcohol poisoning occurs when a person consumes a large amount of alcohol in a short amount of time. But some alcohol poisoning facts are not commonly known to many people. Your body releases alcohol into your bloodstream well after your last drink - so what will result in a blurry night and a killer hangover for one person could have serious, even fatal consequences for someone else.
Many people have lost their lives following one night of binge drinking, and others have suffered permanent brain damage. Knowing what alcohol poisoning is like, how you get it, and how to properly care for a friend who has had too much could save a life.
You can certainly pass out from drinking too much, but falling unconscious does not mean that your body is done taking in alcohol. Even after you've had your final drink of the night, your stomach and intestines release alcohol into your bloodstream. How much is too much can depend on what you've eaten that day, your tolerance, and if you've taken illegal or prescription drugs.
Drinking an excess amount of alcohol may lower your body temperature so much that you suffer from hypothermia. Hypothermia would ordinarily only occur after exposure to cold temperatures. But drinking too much can cause your blood sugar levels to crash, which leads to seizures and precipitously low body temperatures.
Hemodialysis may be needed if the poisoning is caused by methanol, an industrial alcohol that can occasionally be found in homemade booze or isopropyl alcohol, a common antiseptic. This is a process that removes waste from the blood and restores the right amount of electrolytes. The blood is pumped into a machine called a dialyzer, cleaned, and then put back into your body. This is only used in extreme cases as a last resort.
People say that coffee, a cold shower, going to sleep, or physical exercise can help if you've drunk too much. That's all incorrect. Taking a walk and drinking coffee have no positive effect on alcohol poisoning while sleeping and taking a cold shower can both be harmful. The only way to properly treat alcohol poisoning is to seek immediate medical attention.