Binge drinking is a popular pastime in Canada, and it’s become all too easy for people to tip back drink and after drink. With the energy drink/cocktail mixes and trendy craft beer, having ‘just one more’ can turn into drinking a lot of alcohol in one sitting.
But binge drinking is dangerous for everyone because there’s no way to tell the specific point where alcohol turns lethal. Although your body should be able to metabolize one standard alcoholic drink every two hours, everyone is different. What can have little effect on one person can cause another to be extremely intoxicated.
According to experts, the average blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that’s considered lethal is approximately .30 to .45. Incredibly, some people have blown that limit on a breathalyzer and were still driving impaired, but that much alcohol has the power to kill.
Alcohol poisoning happens you consume a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time. This can happen by drinking shots, chugging beer, or playing drinking games, and a person can go from being coherent to having a difficult time moving, speaking, or staying awake.
Signs of alcohol poisoning include:
- Very slow or very rapid pulse
- Irregular breathing
- Clammy, cold, or bluish skin tone
- Incoherent or passed out and no amount of shouting or shaking will wake them
- Not waking up after vomiting
Once someone has alcohol poisoning there’s only one thing you can do—immediately contact 911 and stay with the person until help has arrived.
The truly scary thing about alcohol poisoning is that ‘passing out’ is common when drinking. You might think your friend is just passed out when in actuality he or she has alcohol poisoning. Once they’ve passed out, they may never wake up.
With back to school here, the threat of alcohol poisoning is very real for many young people. Think before you drink, and be sure to always moderate your alcohol consumption.