Shoreline Sober Living, San Diego, CA
Acute Alcohol Intoxication Explained

What does acute alcohol intoxication mean?

Acute alcohol intoxication refers to the act of consuming vast amounts of alcohol. The term acute alcohol intoxication is also commonly referred to as alcohol poisoning, drunkenness or inebriation. Alcohol poisoning occurs when a person consumes alcohol at a faster rate than his or her body can metabolize it.

A diagnosis of acute alcohol intoxication can be seen throughout all age groups and demographics. Studies conducted by the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs in 2009 found no indication that alcohol intoxication was higher in older age groups than their younger counterparts.



Acute alcohol intoxication symptoms vary depending on a multitude of factors including biological factors (weight, age and height), amount of alcohol, the percentage of alcohol and their previous history of alcohol abuse. Identifying behavioral patterns of a person’s experience/previous experience with alcohol may not be as clear as it may seem as many who abuse alcohol are high functioning alcoholics.

The most common symptoms identified from alcohol poisoning are:

  • Confusion
  • Severely slurred speech
  • Loss of co-ordination
  • Vomiting
  • Irregular or slow breathing
  • Pale or blue-tinged skin caused by low body temperature (hypothermia)
  • Being conscious but unresponsive (stupor)
  • Passing out and being unconscious



Alcohol intoxication can be avoided by following some simple techniques including:

  • Communicate with either your household and/or friends with regard to alcoholic beverages
  • Avoid excessive drinking or choosing a non-alcoholic option
  • Do not consume any drugs whilst consuming alcohol
  • Ensure you have eaten prior to consuming any alcohol
  • Keep alcoholic drinks safe from reach of children and teenagers

These preventative measures could be lifesaving and therefore should be adopted instantly, with an emphasis on keeping alcoholic drinks out of reach from younger and adolescent children.


Health Concerns

The results of acute alcohol intoxication can lead to lifelong complications that require years of treatment including Wet Brain Syndrome, heart disease or cirrhosis (liver disease). Consequential long term health implications amount to frequently large medical bills and on average lower your life expectancy by 24-28 years in comparison to the general population. Men who have been hospitalized with an alcohol use disorder have an average life expectancy of 47–53, in comparison to women diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder who have an average life expectancy of 50–58.

Health concerns around alcohol should be taken extremely seriously as alcohol is the third largest cause of deaths for America. Poor physical activity combined with poor diet surpassed alcohol statistics becoming the second largest cause of death whereas the leading cause of death was caused by tobacco. Records throughout the year of 2018 indicate that 88,000 Americans died from alcohol or alcohol-related conditions.


Treatment Options

Acute alcohol intoxication should always be treated inside a medical facility such as a hospital; overseen by a medical professional. If medical conditions are not possible, lay the person down into the recovery position and calling the emergency services is strongly advised.

The first steps towards treating anyone suffering from alcohol poisoning is to stabilize their condition which requires closely monitoring their conditioning until the alcohol has left their system. If necessary, tubes may be used inserted and lowered into the mouth and windpipe to aid in breathing.

Those who have suffered from acute alcohol intoxication are highly likely to lead to the requirement of alcohol abuse treatment. An alcohol treatment center will help those suffering from alcohol addiction to attain sobriety – the state of being sober. Individual assessments should be given as different treatment programs may be applied to certain circumstances.

If you know anyone suffering from acute alcohol intoxication, seek emergency medical help and upon stabilizing their condition seek a professional and affordable sober living home for a greater chance of increasing the chances of attaining sobriety.

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