Alcohol is a drug, which acts to depress the central nervous system at high doses. At lower doses, alcohol can act as a stimulant, inducing feelings of euphoria and talkativeness. However, drinking too much alcohol at one session can lead to drowsiness, respiratory depression (where breathing becomes slow, shallow, or stops entirely), coma, or even death.
Pure alcohol can be described as alcohol by volume (ABV). Often times the ABV will be marked on the packaging of your drink or can be available on the company’s website. With the differences in strength, lower ABV drinks are often served in larger quantities than those with a higher ABV. For example, beer is often served in larger quantities, whereas distilled spirits are served in smaller quantities and often masked with other nonalcoholic liquids.
Alcohol is processed through the body’s liver, and the liver can only break down a certain amount of alcohol per hour. When alcohol is being consumed faster than the liver can break it down, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rises, and the feeling of drunkenness occurs.
Blood Alcohol Concentration is the percent of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream. BAC can be gauged differently from person to person depending on size, weight, assigned sex at birth, and the amount of alcohol consumed. BAC levels have effects on the body’s physical and mental functions.
Side effects include but are not limited to:
These are a few steps you can take to keep you and your friends safe.
Click here for tips and ideas on how to refuse a drink.
Alcohol poisoning is a dangerous result of consuming too much alcohol over a short period of time. If you drink too much alcohol too quickly it can be life-threatening, which is why it is so important to space and pace your drinks. No matter a person’s usual alcohol tolerance, weight, age, or birth-assigned gender, alcohol poisoning can affect anyone.
As you drink more your blood alcohol content (BAC) level continues to climb, eventually getting to a point where your basic mental, physical and emotional functions are no longer able to work as normal. However, a person can trigger alcohol poisoning even after they’ve stopped drinking, as BAC levels keep increasing for up to 40 minutes after your last drink.
If you see someone showing these signs, and they are unresponsive call 911 immediately. In an emergency, follow these suggestions:
Click here for more information about the signs of alcohol poisoning and steps to take in an emergency.
While waiting for help to arrive, you should put the person into the recovery position. Click here for more information about the recovery position.
Image from CPR Test