Getting to the bottom of alcohol poisoning
We’ve all been there. Our first big party. Succumbing to peer pressure. Overdoing the limit, only to land up with alcohol poisoning. The truth is black coffee won’t help. Nor will making yourself sick or trying to sleep it off.
In fact, these traditional ways of trying to sober up can do far more harm than good. Particularly if you’re experiencing acute alcohol poisoning – which can be difficult to spot initially.
You may have only had a few drinks, or several, but this isn’t always an indicator.
“By recognising the signs of acute alcohol poisoning and knowing what to do, you could save someone’s life or your own.” Says Athy, from Eden Recovery Centre.
What not to do if somebody is suffering from alcohol poisoning:
- Leave someone to sleep it off. The amount of alcohol in someone’s blood continues to rise even when they’re not drinking.
- Give them a coffee. Alcohol dehydrates the body. Coffee will make someone who is already dehydrated even more so. Severe dehydration can cause permanent brain damage.
- Make them sick. Their gag reflex won’t be working properly which means they could choke on their vomit.
- Walk them around. Alcohol is a depressant which slows down your brain’s functions and affects your sense of balance.
- Put them under a cold shower. Alcohol lowers your body temperature, which could lead to hypothermia.
There is no minimum amount of alcohol that could cause alcohol poisoning
Five things to do if someone is showing signs of alcohol poisoning:
- Try to keep them awake and sitting up.
- Give them some water, if they can drink it.
- Lie them on their side in the recovery position if they’ve passed out, and check they’re breathing properly.
- Keep them warm.
- Stay with them and monitor their symptoms.
- If they’re not getting any better, don’t delay, dial 999 for an ambulance.
If you know somebody that is battling alcohol abuse or if you are struggling with the addiction yourself, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre for advice on recovery and treatment plans. You can depend on full discretion.
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