Alcohol Intoxication Overview
Another name for Alcohol Intoxication is Alcohol Poisoning.
What is alcohol poisoning?
A person with alcohol poisoning, or an alcohol overdose, has a toxic level of ethanol in the bloodstream. Alcohol has a direct effect on the central nervous system. At high doses, alcohol can suppress signals from the brain that stimulate breathing. Complications of acute alcohol poisoning include aspiration pneumonia, hypothermia, cardiac arrhythmias, dehydration, seizures, coma, respiratory failure, and cardiac arrest. Alcohol abuse can lead to alcoholism and alcoholic liver disease.
What are the symptoms of alcohol poisoning?
Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include pale skin, rapid pulse, dizziness, nausea, faintness, vomiting, palpitations, slurred speech, poor balance, vertigo, confusion, and excessive sleepiness. Serious symptoms of alcohol poisoning include slow, shallow or irregular breathing, lethargy, seizures, hypothermia, and coma.
How does the doctor treat alcohol poisoning?
Treatment for mild alcohol poisoning includes plenty of fluids and rest. Severe alcohol poisoning requires intravenous fluids and medications to control nausea.
Continue to Alcohol Intoxication Symptoms
- American Medical Association: Alcoholism in the elderly. Council on Scientific Affairs, American Medical Association. JAMA 1996 Mar 13; 275(10): 797-801. 
- O'Connor PG, Schottenfeld RS: Patients with alcohol problems. N Engl J Med 1998 Feb 26; 338(9): 592-602. 
- Piccinelli M, Tessari E, et al: Efficacy of the alcohol use disorders identification test as a screening tool for hazardous alcohol intake and related disorders in primary care: a validity study. BMJ 1997 Feb 8; 314(7078): 420-4. 
- Room R, Babor T, Rehm J: Alcohol and public health. Lancet 2005 Feb 5; 365(9458): 519-30. 
- Saitz R: Clinical practice. Unhealthy alcohol use. N Engl J Med 2005 Feb 10; 352(6): 596-607. 
- Scott LJ, Figgitt DP, Keam SJ, Waugh J. Acamprosate: a review of its use in the maintenance of abstinence in patients with alcohol dependence. CNS Drugs. 2005;19(5):445-64. 
- Wilk AI, Jensen NM, Havighurst TC: Meta-analysis of randomized control trials addressing brief interventions in heavy alcohol drinkers. J Gen Intern Med 1997 May; 12(5): 274-83. 
- Willner IR, Reuben A. Alcohol and the liver. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2005 May;21(3):323-30.