Signs of Alcohol Poisoning and What to Do - Banyan Treatment Center

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning and What to Do


Alcohol is one of the most widely abused substances nationwide, with more than 17 billion binge drinks consumed annually in the US.

Binge drinking, known as excessive drinking, is a dangerous form of alcohol abuse that can result in alcohol poisoning. At Banyan Treatment Centers, we know that those who binge drink or drink excessively are at risk of alcohol poisoning, with alcohol overdose symptoms that can become deadly. Here are signs of alcohol poisoning and what to do if you or someone you know is intoxicated at dangerous levels.

What is Considered Heavy Drinking?

Alcohol use disorder is a growing problem, with binge drinking and alcoholism as two major components of this disorder. Binge drinking is defined as consuming more than 4 drinks during a single session for women and 5 drinks for men.[2] Heavy drinking, on the other hand, is defined as having more than 8 drinks per week for women and more than 15 drinks per week for men.[2]

The number differs from women to men because women’s bodies metabolize alcohol differently than men’s, so one drink will affect a woman more severely than it generally will affect a man.[3] The CDC defines a drink as 12 ounces of beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.2 This means that you may be drinking more than you realize, putting yourself at risk for alcohol overdose.

Alcohol Overdose Symptoms

Alcohol intoxication can quickly lead to a DUI, or worse, a medical crisis like alcohol poisoning. Also known as alcohol overdose, this condition can become deadly. Our alcohol detox center shares signs of alcohol overdose:

  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Vomiting, especially while passed out
  • Cold, blue, or clammy skin
  • State of unconsciousness that cannot be woken from

Alcohol is a depressant and as alcohol poisoning occurs, the body may continue metabolizing alcohol and worsening the overdose. If someone you know is overdosing on alcohol, it is important to act quickly to help them.

How to Treat Alcohol Poisoning

When someone has alcohol overdose symptoms, you need to call 911 immediately. You should also put the person on their side and ensure that their airway is not obstructed. Calling 911 is vital because depending on the severity of the alcohol poisoning, they may need to have the rest of the alcohol in their stomach removed.

What to Do After Alcohol Overdose

After the medical emergency of alcohol poisoning is safely addressed, it’s time to treat the active alcohol addiction. With the guidance of residential care at an alcohol detox center and rehab, patients can find sobriety from alcohol use disorder.

Call 888-280-4763 to learn more about our alcohol treatment options at Banyan Treatment Centers.


  1. CDC - During Binges, US Adults Have 17 Billion Drinks a Year
  2. CDC - Alcohol Use and Your Health
  3. University of Maryland CESAR - Alcohol
Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.

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