You hear about it every once in a while — a college kid partied too hard during rush week or a holiday office party got out of hand — but alcohol poisoning is no laughing matter. A consequence of drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time, alcohol poisoning affects your breathing, heart rate, body temperature and gag reflex and can lead to coma or death if not addressed immediately.
Chronic binge drinking can lead to serious health risks, including irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke, fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, weakened immune system and breast, liver, throat and mouth cancers. Binge drinking is considered consuming four or more drinks in two hours for women and five or more for men. The fact is, even people who drink regularly do not usually intend to drink to the point of alcohol poisoning, and it is a terrifying experience. So how do you recuperate?
Drink a lot of fluids. Seriously … a lot. Alcohol depletes your body of water and electrolytes, and this can lead to a range of health issues. Spend the days after alcohol poisoning drinking double or triple your usual amounts of water.
Avoid caffeine. While many people use coffee to avoid having a hangover, coffee aids in dehydration. Stick with water and sports drinks to replenish your store of electrolytes and avoid a killer headache.
Rest and sleep. You may experience soreness from muscle contractions used in throwing up. While you should avoid sleeping in the first 24 hours of alcohol poisoning (so that a friend or family member can monitor your consciousness), you can sleep to relieve headaches and fatigue that will occur in the days following.
If you or a friend is experiencing the signs of alcohol poisoning, call 911 immediately, especially if the person loses consciousness.
Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).