Alcohol poisoning, which happens when someone drinks a large portion of alcohol in a short amount of time, can be difficult to distinguish from the signs of ordinary drunkenness — like physical impairment, confusion, dehydration, and vomiting. All of these are indicators of alcohol poisoning, too, and if left untreated, can lead to coma, brain damage, and death.
Whether you’re celebrating the Fourth of July, a wedding, or any other social event, it’s important to keep in mind some of the risks involved in social drinking so that you can proceed safely and responsibly.
Signs of alcohol poisoning present themselves with varying degrees of severity, and can affect people of different sizes and tolerance levels differently.
Get familiar with these common signs of alcohol poisoning so that you can get help for someone in need. You should also know that it is absolutely not necessary for someone to display all of these signs in order to have alcohol poisoning — seek help as soon as you recognize symptoms, especially if someone is unconscious.
Blue-Tinged or Pale Skin
Hypothermia, or low body temperature, can be detected if someone who has been drinking suddenly becomes pale, or their skin turns blue. Hypothermia is quite dangerous, as body temperatures below 95 degrees F can disrupt the function of your heart, nervous system, and other organs. If untreated, hypothermia can lead to heart failure and death.
Confusion or Stupor
Look out for impairment of someone’s speech, memory, and judgment, as this can make them more dangerous to themselves and others. In some people, confusion as a result of excessive alcohol consumption is coupled with aggression.