“Alcohol Poisoning Kills 6 Americans Daily” is the title of a recent news story. This story line seems like old news. We’ve all heard of the tragedies of teenagers and younger adults drinking more alcohol than their bodies could handle and dying of the poison that alcohol is. Not many people think of alcohol in the context of poisons. But it’s an important point to remember.Most of us know about the wild parties, keggers, “Jungle Juice” and all its other names. Drinking on a social level is very common among all age groups. It’s when the drinking becomes a contest that it becomes most dangerous. Funneling, guzzling, shotgunning and the myriad ways of getting alcohol into the body in a quick fashion are often the culprit of alcohol poisoning in the younger generations.Alcohol poisoning occurs when the body gets too much alcohol in a short period of time. The symptoms include:
- Bluish or pale skin
- Irregular breathing
- Low body temperature or hypothermia
- Unconsciousness and non-responsive
Some of these symptoms will be passed off as “just being drunk” by many, but they all point to what could be a more serious and potentially fatal condition.What may seem like a surprising find to many is that alcohol poisoning is also prevalent in adults aged 35 to 64. It’s hard to imagine a 64 year-old grandparent funneling or taking “upside down Margaritas.” But those sort of games aren’t a requirement of becoming a victim of alcohol poisoning. All it takes is a few too many shots of liquor, whiskey, brandy and all the others to get too much alcohol in too short a time period.The news article “Alcohol Poisoning Kills 6 Americans Daily” goes on to report that of those 6 Americans, 3 out of 4 were between the ages of 35 and 64. Only 5.1% were between the ages of 15 and 24. The article also states that fewer than a third of those who died were considered alcoholics.Binge drinking is considered by the CDC to be more than three drinks for women and more than four for men on a single occasion. This is something that could easily happen to anyone. A few Long Island Iced Teas after mowing the grass, or a few shots of brandy after a promotion, are just an example of the little things that lead to what is known as binge drinking.The bottom line of this story is to beware. If you suspect someone of being a victim of alcohol poisoning, get help. Giving them a ride home, putting them to bed with their head turned so that they don’t choke on their vomit may not be the last thing to do for your friend or loved one. Forget about the embarrassment and get help.
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