Alcohol Poisoning: Always a Risk for Partiers

A night of fun and laughter can quickly climax out of control in the presence of alcohol.

Consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time causes alcohol poisoning. By drinking too much too quickly, it affects your breathing, heart rate, gag reflexes and can lead to coma and death.

“When I’m out drinking with my friends, I just drink,” said Malcolm Muhammad, a senior business administration student from Detroit. “I never thought that I could be over-consuming and that it could lead to death.”

A popular alcohol consumption style among college students is binge drinking, downing five or more drinks consistently, which is one of the main causes of alcohol poisoning. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, binge drinking is highest among people in their early twenties at 51 percent.

When you consume alcohol, the liver has to drain the alcohol and other toxins from the blood. Alcohol is absorbed much faster than food and reaches the bloodstream quickly.  The liver can only process one unit of alcohol per hour, according to à let’s find the actually study that says that instead of quoting the NYTimes.

“I play drinking games…where I drink more than five drinks at a time and I reach an acute level of intoxication,” said Marcus Davis, a junior nursing student from Ft. Lauderdale. “I’ve never thought about the fact that it can lead to coma and/or death.”

The faster you drink, the higher your blood alcohol concentration becomes, causing the level to rise at an extreme rate.

“Rapid drinking can bring your BAC so high that your mental and physical functions become negatively affected,” according to Medical News Today.

After binge drinking your heart’s rhythm may become irregular, you may become short of breath and choke. If your BAC is high enough some important physical functions can stop working and cause you to lose consciousness.

Representatives at the American Poison Control Center said approximately 50,000 cases of alcohol poisoning are reported annually in the U.S. About one patient dies each week from alcohol poisoning.

College students are highly at risk of suffering from alcohol poison. 

Amy Casto, a pharmacist at a local CVS pharmacy, advises anyone with symptoms of alcohol poisoning to call poison control at 1-800-222-1212.