Call American Addiction Centers for help today.

(888) 287-0471
Close Main Menu
Main Menu
  • Find a Rehab Center
  • AAC Facilities
  • Find Treatment
  • Paying for Treatment
  • Substance Abuse
  • About AAC
    Back to Main Menu
    Main Menu

What is Alcohol Poisoning?

Questions about treatment?
  • Access to licensed treatment centers
  • Information on treatment plans
  • Financial assistance options

Treatment is necessary as soon as possible after the symptoms of alcohol poisoning are recognized. The signs of alcohol poisoning vary somewhat from person to person, so it is important to be educated about the variety of symptoms that can potentially occur. Treatment for alcohol poisoning is completed at an emergency facility so the medical staff can monitor the patient for additional symptoms and life-threatening conditions.
“…it is important to be educated about the variety of symptoms of alcohol poisoning that can potentially occur.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 79,000 deaths caused by excessive alcohol use each year in the United States. Alcohol poisoning is a major concern and a complication of excessive drinking, so it’s important to seek help if you or a loved one is dependent on or addicted to alcohol.

Did You Know?

A standard drink in the United States is composed of 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol. This can be a drink of any size, as long as this amount of alcohol is included.

How Much Is Too Much?

Alcohol poisoning treatment will be based on how much someone has had to drink. Some standard drinks that are considered one alcoholic drink include:

  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor
  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 12 ounces of a wine cooler

It is important to know that different sizes of drinks can contain more than one serving of alcohol. For example, 24 ounces of beer is two drinks, not one. Binge drinking, which can lead to alcohol poisoning, occurs when a woman drinks four or more alcoholic beverages at one occasion. For a man, consuming five or more drinks is considered to be binge drinking.

More than one drink per day for women and more than two drinks per day for men is considered to be heavy drinking. Heavy drinking can also lead to alcohol poisoning, and it is even more likely to cause long-term health problems.

Alcohol poisoning is a serious consequence of excessive drinking, so it’s important to help your friends and family members to stop drinking heavily to prevent this kind of dangerous alcohol overdose. Alcohol poisoning treatment can help someone who has overdosed.

What is Alcohol Poisoning Like?

Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency. It occurs when a person’s blood alcohol levels are so high the central nervous system is suppressed. Alcohol poisoning symptoms include:

  • A loss of consciousness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low body temperature
  • Coma
  • Respiratory depression
  • Death

Alcohol PoisoningIf someone you know has been heavily drinking, passes out and won’t wake up, or if he or she stops breathing, call 911 immediately and start CPR if necessary. It is important to seek emergency treatment as soon as possible to prevent damage from occurring in the body. Once the medical team is there, a number of steps can be taken to remove the alcohol from the system and to negate the negative effects of alcohol on the body during the overdose. Even if you are unsure if your friend or family member has had too much to drink, it is better to err on the side of caution.

Did You Know?

Alcohol can be ingested faster than monitors can read, which means a monitor may not read a blood alcohol content as high as it is. Alcohol poisoning treatment is vital to prevent additional damage to the body in these situations.

Additional Signs to Watch For

Even if a person has only passed out, it is important to understand that the blood alcohol content can continue to rise and lead to dangerous levels of alcohol in the body. Someone who has had too much alcohol could also vomit, which could lead to asphyxiation if the person is unconscious.
Some additional signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Irregular breathing
  • Hypothermia
  • Blue-colored skin
  • Pale skin
  • Seizures
  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting

If someone is showing these symptoms, it is very important to seek addiction treatment immediately. Call 911 right away. Even if the patient does not die from the poisoning, it can lead to brain damage and potentially be fatal the next time.

We're here to help you find the treatment you deserve.
Substance Abuse Assessment
How our treatment is different?
American Addiction Centers photo
Editoral Staff
The editorial staff of is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands of pages for accuracy and relevance. Our reviewers consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA, NIDA, and other reputable sources to provide our readers the most accurate content on the web.
Reach out to us day or night

Our supportive admissions navigators are available 24/7 to assist you or your family.

Call (888) 287-0471
There was an error fetching your data