Alcohol poisoning first aid: what to do in case of emergency

For a lot of individuals, developing an addiction to alcohol can be the first sign of problems in their life. Although one of the first obstacles that come because of the drinking is physiological problems and hangovers, they soon develop into more serious issues. From the constant loss of money and debt to developing a tolerance for alcohol, there is a lot to be lost by those who do not believe in treating alcoholism early on. Denial of addiction and abuse is perhaps the most difficult to cure in a number of cases.

Treatment is considered the process of going to a facility such as an inpatient rehabilitation center or an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Treatment centers are designed to help the alcoholic deal with the immediate issues of coming off the influence of alcohol, both emotional and physical. Often the detoxification process is done at a separate facility such as a hospital or designated detox center which is better equipped to deal with the physical and/or medication side effects of detoxification.

The effect on the body depends on the amount of alcohol consumed

There are many factors involved in the intensity and duration of the affects of alcohol – food ingested, sleep, tolerance, etc., but most people will feel a buzz or intoxication around .05 BAC.

– At .05 BAC, the susceptible outer layer of the brain becomes depressed, thus lowering inhibitions and impairing judgment. Even though alcohol is a powerful depressant, this level of intoxication is paradoxically knows as that stimulating, buzzed feeling from drinking. People suddenly have the funniest jokes to tell, are the best looking in the room, and have the perfect karaoke song!

– At .10 BAC, the motor functions of the brain and rest of the body have been moderately impaired. This stage results in slurred speech, blurred vision, the inability to stand or walk straight, and depressed reactions. At this point, the person’s inhibitions have just about been drowned out, completely.

– .20 BAC reflects a severely depressed motor and brain response as alcohol is now affecting the midbrain. Many people in this stage have lost the ability to control their emotions – whether they be happy or sad ones. They might laugh, cry, scream, and dance all within a few moments of each other.

– .30 BAC is even more dangerous ground, as the alcohol affects the lower portion of the brain responsible for sensory control. This level of impairment if frequently associated with “blackouts” where the person is somewhat awake, but has no recollection of the events afterward. Sometimes not remembering what you did might be considered a blessing, or a curse.

– A BAC level between .35 and .45 is an even more serious condition for the drinker. In order to protect itself from the affects of alcohol on the body, along with more alcohol being ingested, the body will shut down into a coma. This is not a situation to be treated at home! This person needs to be taken to a hospital immediately to get professional help so the body stands a chance at reducing the level of alcohol in the body.

– A .60 BAC level usually signifies lights out. All the small things our bodies do automatically for us every day – breathing, heart beating, liver function, become severely depressed with lower functioning. Death is almost a foregone conclusion at this point. Don’t let the numbers fool you – a .60 BAC level can be reached sooner than you might think.

The last two stages of alcoholic intoxication require the intervention of emergency medical care.

Treatment for alcohol poisoning

Treatment for alcohol poisoning is a serious business, and most commonly done in a hospital emergency room by trained medical personnel. A person with acute alcohol poisoning needs immediate medical care as this is a serious stuff. Without care, the person can fall into a coma that might result in death.

Keep in mind that alcohol is a depressant, and it slows involuntary body functions such as breathing, and the gag reflex. Vomiting can occur due to stomach irritation, and this is extremely dangerous as people die every year from asphyxiation (choking) on their own vomit while passed out.

Alcohol poisoning is generally a result of binge drinking, where more than 5 alcoholic drinks are consumed in a row for men, 4 for women.

For party animals past and present, that is not a huge amount of drinks for the “big game” or “girls night out”, is it?

Treatment for alcohol poisoning usually means the person having their stomach pumped, along with intravenous fluid replacement, and breathing assistance.

The scariest part of alcohol poisoning is the reliance on the good judgment of other people whether to take action or not. If those around a person suspected of suffering from alcohol poisoning or an alcohol overdose have also been drinking alcohol, and are likely impaired themselves, judgment is bound to suffer.

When a person fails to remain conscious and/or will not awaken when roused, 911 needs to be called. Do not allow the person to fall back asleep while waiting for help to arrive, try to have them sit up and stay awake at all times.

Outpatient alcoholism help

Outpatient alcoholism treatment offers people suffering from alcoholism as an alternative to the intensive approach of inpatient services. Depending on the person and if they require alcohol detox, it can be an excellent alcoholism treatment choice.

Since outpatient doesn’t require staying at the alcohol rehab center, the first step after being willing to ask for help is to remove all the alcohol from the house, or wherever the person is going to be living. Many alcoholics have been tripped up by this fundamental mistake, and wonder why they slipped.

In outpatient alcoholism treatment, regular attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings is required, along with scheduled and random blood alcohol test and urine alcohol test submissions to provide accountability of the patient since they are not under 24-hour supervision. The basic structure of the inpatient program above is used to teach patients these important skills and techniques. One common modification is an emphasis on ways to prevent relapses, and stress management, as they are only in the treatment part of their waking hours. Outpatient alcohol rehab is commonly court ordered for some alcohol-related crimes, such as DUI, and also when employees are granted employer assistance in treating their alcoholism.

First aid for delirium tremens

The patient should be put to bed and you should try to keep him in a lying position. If necessary, you can attach it to the bed before the doctor arrives. Give him plenty of water to drink. A cold shower is also recommended. You must try to reassure the patient with sedatives and sleeping pills. A patient in a state of delirium tremens should be monitored so that he cannot harm himself and others.

For the treatment of alcohol delirium, psychotropic and detoxifying agents are used for normalizing metabolism and water-salt balance in the body, normalizing cardiac activity and respiration.

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