Treatment for Alcohol Overdose

Alcohol overdose, often known as alcohol poisoning, is a serious problem in the United States. Every year, the U.S. has about 50,000 reported cases of alcohol overdose. Many people who overdose on alcohol do not survive. But how do you recognize when to call for help for alcohol poisoning? What do you do when someone you care about is suffering from an overdose?

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Overdose

You cannot measure alcohol overdose by how many drinks a person has had. The typical amount of alcohol that makes up “binge drinking” is about five drinks in one setting. If you are a petite person who is not used to drinking often, five drinks may cause alcohol overdose. Likewise, even if you are a large, heavyset male who drinks often, but you are taking a new medicine, you may be in danger of a sudden alcohol overdose.

There is no way to know a person’s blood-alcohol content by looking at that person. You can only know for sure if a person is in real danger by a professional blood test. But these symptoms are clear warning signs, and warrant an immediate call for help:

  • The person is unable to respond or wake up
  • The person has vomited and choked on vomit, or has vomited so much that he or she is vomiting a green bile substance or a foamy substance
  • Shaking of hands and limbs
  • Slow, shallow or irregular breathing
  • Blue or blue-toned fingertips, toes or nose, or clammy skin
  • Confused speech or ranting, or strange noises or movements
  • Seizures

Home Remedies for Alcohol Poisoning

Some people believe there are home remedies to treat alcohol overdose including the following:

  • Drinking coffee or soda
  • Walking or sleeping off the alcohol
  • Vomiting out the alcohol
  • A cold shower

None of these home remedies work. In fact many of them are dangerous—coffee may affect the person’s heart rate, a cold shower may cause shock and loss of consciousness, sleeping it off may lead to coma, and walking it off may lead to dangerous falls and head injury.

The only safe treatment is a medically supervised treatment.

Medical Treatment of Alcohol Overdose

A medical treatment for alcohol overdose will most likely include the following:

  • Pumping the stomach contents out to remove the rest of the alcohol
  • OR giving the person specialized medication to absorb the alcohol in the system
  • Providing IV fluids to bring electrolytes and fluids back into the body

The best part of a medical treatment for overdose is that the medical staff of your local hospital will know exactly what they are looking for and can protect you or your friend from permanent damage or serious illness. Because a medical facility has the staff, equipment and knowledge to manage an alcohol overdose, they can immediately treat and prevent any accidents or accidental death that might occur.

Help for Alcohol Overdose and Alcohol Poisoning

We offer a 24 hour, toll-free helpline to offer you support for yourself or your loved one who has suffered from alcohol poisoning. Our trained counselors can help you find everything you need from intervention, to treatment to family therapy or individual counseling. We also are here to offer a friendly voice in your time of need.

Learn more about your options and how you can build a brighter future. Call us today.