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Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Alcohol Poisoning
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Alcohol poisoning occurs when a person consumes an excessive amount of alcohol. Alcohol can depress or stop nerve signals that control breathing and the gag reflex that prevents choking; alcohol poisoning is a serious condition that can lead to irreversible brain damage or death if not treated immediately.
Signs of alcohol poisoning include:
The level of alcohol in the blood continues to rise even after a person stops drinking. It can take around 30 to 90 minutes for the alcohol to enter the bloodstream, circulate throughout the body, and cause full intoxication. The amount of time depends on how quickly and how much the person drank along with what else is in the stomach.
Drinking coffee, walking or sleeping it off, or taking a cold shower will not help reverse the symptoms of alcohol poisoning. Immediate medical treatment is always needed if you suspect alcohol poisoning.
Current as of: February 11, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health
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