Saturday October 1st 2016

Trusted Helpline
Help Available 24/7
1-888-882-1456
PRIVACY
GUARANTEED

Alcohol overdose: How much amount of alcohol to OD?

How much alcohol does it take to really be in trouble? We review alcohol overdose as how alcohol works in the body here and invite your questions about binge drinking at the end.

What is the danger of drinking too much alcohol? How are intoxication and overdose related? We explore the answers to these questions below. Then, we invite your questions about drinking too much alcohol at the end; we try to will answer legitimate questions personally and promptly.

How does unintentional alcohol overdose happen?

People drink alcohol mainly for effect – they want to feel better. The effect for someone may be relaxing, while, for others, can stimulate socializing and celebrating. But when do you cross the line into possible alcohol overdose? Alcohol is a depressant and is considered to be a drug because it is a substance with no nutritional value. Additionally, alcohol has the power to cause changes in a person’s physical and emotional state.

However, the term “overdose” does quite fit alcohol use. This term is mainly used for drugs; for alcohol, “overdose” is called intoxication. Alcohol intoxication is the physiological state caused by alcohol consumption. When drinking moderately, the user feels only the regular effects of drinking. But when drinking too much, the user is alcohol intoxicated, meaning drunk.

Alcohol overdose – How much is too much?

The amount of drink in the glass does not determine the actual amount of alcohol consumed. For instance, there is almost no difference in the alcohol level between light beer and a regular one. The level of pure alcohol, ethanol, in a single drink, is what adds up when users are consuming several glasses or even bottles in a row. One mixed drink, such as a cocktail, multiplies the alcohol level within a single drink.

In the U.S., what’s considered to be a standard drink contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol. That evens out to 1 big glass of beer, or 1 glass of table wine, or 1 shot of tequila. No more than 2 drinks daily and no more than 14 drinks weekly is considered moderate for men. No more than 1 drink daily and no more than 7 drinks weekly is considered moderate for women.

Trusted Helpline
Help Available 24/7
1-888-882-1456
PRIVACY GUARANTEED

It takes roughly 90 minutes for a healthy liver to metabolize each of these drinks, consumed separately. When consumed faster, or when drinkers drink multiple doses of alcohol with higher ethanol presence at the same time, the blood concentrations are higher and the intoxication affects the user. What are these effects?  Over 400 mg/dL of ethanol in the blood could lead to respiratory failure and coma. Alcohol intoxication is considered a medical emergency due to the risk of death from respiratory depression, and inhalation of vomit, because of loss of consciousness.

Alcohol overdose complications

Alcohol intoxication can be dangerous for many reasons, both for the user and for surrounding people. Possible complications of alcohol overdose include:

  • coma
  • damage to a developing fetus
  • dilation of blood vessels
  • impaired brain function
  • increased risk of certain cancers, stroke, and liver cirrhosis
  • increased risk of motor-vehicle traffic crashes
  • loss of balance and motor skills
  • poor judgment
  • rapid loss of body heat
  • reduced reaction time
  • slurred speech
  • violence

Alcohol overdose prognosis

The experience of various unpleasant psychological and physiological effects following heavy consumption of alcohol is called a hangover. Hangovers usually lasts for up to 24 hours and are mostly related to the ethanol blood concentrations. Some hangover symptoms are related to the alcohol intoxication and its withdrawal symptoms. Often, alcoholics experience memory blackouts and/or live with a permanently damaged liver.

The liver’s performance depends on many factors. For example how much the user usually drinks, what and how often. Also important is the age, overall health status, and the family history when it comes to alcohol abuse. People who have been drinking heavily for several days or weeks may have withdrawal symptoms after the intoxication.

Alcohol overdose death rate

More than 25,000 people die from alcohol-induced causes in the U.S. per each year. This includes deaths from dependent and non-dependent use of alcohol, as well as deaths from accidental poisoning by alcohol. The death rate for males was three times the death rate for females.

Alcohol overdose amount questions

If there is something more you would like to know about drinking, intoxication, or alcohol overdose, you will have the chance to ask your question in the comments section below. We will try to help you get the most accurate and useful answer possible.

Reference Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Vital Statistics Reports
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism/Alcohol: Standard Drink
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Beyond Hangovers

Photo credit: Wiki Media Commons

Leave a Reply

4 Responses to “Alcohol overdose: How much amount of alcohol to OD?
Nicky
2:52 am February 25th, 2015

My 15 yr old son has Aspergers, he has started smoking weed due to all his so called mates doing it…tonight a so called friend knocked to tell me his on the pavement sleeping, been sick, can’t get up, apparently he’d been drinking alcohol (I refuse to give him alcohol or money) so must be from these mates…his a mess, I’ve put him to bed, took away pillows as he was burying his face in them, his sleeping, his body ie back is warm, but his hands are like ice. Do you think it’s ok for me to just leave him in his bed till morning as dont want to go hospital and waste their time over his stupidity.

12:39 am March 12th, 2015

Hello Nicky. It would be the responsible thing to do to hake him to the hospital. You say you don’t want to “waste time over his stupidity” and I believe this is not OK. If he’s non-responsive he needs medical care. Later, you can also seek help from a licensed psychologist or a counselor to address his behaviors and work on the problem with abusing substances.

SUSAN
8:30 am February 9th, 2016

WOW MY SON HAS A FORM OF AUTISM.. ALL OF HIS LIFE.. AND HE HAS STARTED DRINKING ALCOHOL. AND IT HAS A VERY VERY STRANGE EFFECT ON HIM. AND I THINK HE WILL DIE. HE JUST WENT TO THE ER TWO TIMES IN ONE DAY… WITH LETHAL DEADLY LEVELS. THE 2ND TIME THAT DAY…. IT WAS A TRIP BY THE POLICE =( BEFORE THEY TOOK HIM TO JAIL. ADULT JAIL. HE IS NOW 20 YRS OLD. I AM SO SCARED FOR HIM.

I DON’T THINK JAIL IS THE RIGHT PLACE. BUT HE HAS ACTUALLY BATTERED ME A FEW TIMES IN THE RECENT MONTHS. AND I THINK HE MAY KILL ME OR KILL HIMSELF. THIS IS THE WORST CATCH 22. SO FEW UNDERSTAND.

PLEASE GET HIM HELP WHILE HE IS STILL A JUVENILE. PLUS THEY STOLE MY SON AND PUT HIM IN GROUP HOMES NICKY. IF YOU ARE READING THIS. I CRIED EVERY DAY FOR 2 FULL YEARS. THAT WAS THE WORST PLACE FOR HIM. THEY BLAMED ME FOR HIS PROBLEMS. HE GOT KICKED OUT OF 9 IN 4 YRS. HE COULD NOT HANDLE BEING CONFINED LIKE THAT. THEY DIDN’T UNDERSTAND HIS CONDITION.

MY SON SAYS HE WILL GET TREATMENT. HE IS ALSO HOMELESS. BUT IF THEY LET HIM OUT OF JAIL.. AND HE IS ON THE STREETS EVEN ONE DAY.. HE WILL GET DRUNK. AND LIKELY COME TO MY HOME AND BE IRRATIONAL. I AM SCARED. FOR HIM AND ME.

THEY NEED TO SEND HIM DIRECTLY SOMEWHERE. JOB CORP OR A ALCOHOL PROGRAM. I DON’T KNOW!

YOU CAN ACTUALLY DIE FROM ALCOHOL. I HAD NO IDEA.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
4:30 pm February 12th, 2016

Hi, Susan. I’m really sorry that you are experiencing this… I suggest you go to the Civil Rights Enforcement Section, and speak with someone who can help your son. Moreover, you may call the helpline number displayed on our site to get in touch with our trusted treatment providers who can help your son access an adequate treatment program. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Trusted Helpline
Help Available 24/7
1-888-882-1456
PRIVACY
GUARANTEED