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Acute Alcohol Poisoning Treatment

man passed out on sofa with bottles on floor showing Alcohol Poisoning

Acute alcohol poisoning treatment is administered when a person drinks enough alcohol that the levels in their body become toxic. This means there is so much alcohol in a person’s system that they are in immediate danger of injury or death. The specific amount of alcohol needed to cause alcohol poisoning varies by person.

Currently, this is the leading cause of poisoning in England and is particularly high among young people. Binge drinking is usually the cause of acute alcohol poisoning. 

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

The signs that someone needs  acute alcohol poisoning treatment include:

  • Confusion – Not knowing where they are, struggling to hold a conversation or becoming confused with normally easy tasks. 
  • Loss Of Co-Ordination – struggling with simple tasks like opening doors or walking.
  • Very Slurred Speech – being unable to pronounce simple words, struggling to form sentences or mispronouncing commonly used phrases.
  • Vomiting 
  • Slowed Or Irregular Breathing
  • Pale Or Blue Skin – Caused by low body temperature.
  • Unresponsive – Being able to walk or interact in some way with the world around them but unresponsive to outside stimulus. 
  • Unconscious – Passing out or blacking out.

It is very important not to ignore these signs as alcohol poisoning can be dangerous or even deadly. Someone who needs acute alcohol poisoning treatment can stop breathing, choke on their own vomit and die, have a heart attack, sustain brain damage from dehydration, start fitting when their blood sugar drops to dangerous levels or suffer from hypothermia which leads to death. 

Getting Help

You should seek acute alcohol poisoning treatment for someone when they are exhibiting any of the above symptoms. Call an ambulance immediately and do not leave them alone. 

If you are helping someone who needs acute alcohol poisoning treatment there are some things you can do to while you wait for emergency responders. First, keep the person sitting up and awake. If they are sitting up they are less likely to choke or block their airway in some fashion. Keeping them awake can help you monitor their condition and keep them from passing out. 

You can also provide water for the person to drink it they can. This helps keep them hydrated and has other benefits. 

If the person has passed out, place them on their side in the recovery position. This will help keep their airway clear if they vomit and allow you to monitor their breathing.

Make sure to keep the person suffering from acute alcohol poisoning warm as well. Alcohol inhibits your bodies ability to moderate its temperature and can make you feel warm even if you are cold. Keeping someone warm will help prevent hypothermia. 

Finally, stay with the person. Someone who needs acute alcohol poisoning treatment may need help at any moment so leaving them alone to sleep it off can be very dangerous. 

In the Hospital

There are a number of treatments hospitals administer for acute alcohol poisoning. These include:

  • Intubation – Placing a tube into the person’s mouth and windpipe. This opens the airway and helps remove any blockages.
  • Intravenous Drip – Giving the person fluids directly into a vein to improve hydration as well as provide vitamins.
  • Catheterisation – Placing a tube directly into a person’s bladder and draining urine directly into a bag to stop the person urinating on themselves. 

If you or someone you know has suffered from acute alcohol poisoning, it may be time to examine your relationship with alcohol. Help Me Stop offers alcohol abuse treatment to help you get your life back on track.

If you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, or know someone who does, contact us for free, confidential advice:

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