Alcohol Poisoning

Definition: Alcohol poisoning is a serious — and sometimes deadly — consequence of consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. Drinking too much too quickly can affect your breathing, heart rate and gag reflex and potentially lead to coma and death.

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning:

It's not necessary for all of these symptoms to be present before you seek help. A person who is unconscious or can't be awakened is at risk of dying.

What Can Happen:

Risk Factors:

Age Young teens and college students are most likely to binge drink, and because many are first-time or inexperienced drinkers, they're particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol.
Gender Women are also more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol in general because they produce less of an enzyme that slows the release of alcohol in the stomach.
Height/Weight The smaller and thinner your build, the more quickly your body absorbs alcohol, making you more susceptible to alcohol poisoning.
Food Consumption Having food in your stomach slightly slows — but doesn't prevent — alcohol from entering your bloodstream.
Health Having health problems, such as heart disease or diabetes, makes you more vulnerable to the damaging effects of alcohol.
Drug Use Combining alcohol with other drugs — including some prescription medications — greatly increases your risk of a fatal alcohol overdose.

Common Myths: