Alcohol intoxication is a dangerous physical condition due to drinking excessive alcohol, also called ethanol poisoning or drunkenness. It is a physiological condition that causes psychological changes in behavior, perception, level of consciousness and responses.
Symptoms of alcohol intoxication
- Flushed skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blacking out or seizures
- The pupils becomes enlarged
- Breath that smells of alcohol
- Slurred or loud speech
- Fast heartbeats and slow breaths
- Loss of balance, or not capable of walking straight or standing still
- Fast eye movements that are faster than normal
- Remove the affected person from all alcohol sources such as in a bar or a party. If inside the house throw away all the alcohol. Keep the person in safe area to prevent falling, away from dangerous machines and objects.
- Prescribe sedative medicine to keep the affected person calm and relaxed. Antinausea medicines to relax the stomach and stop vomiting.
- Vitamin thiamine to prevent development of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome which causes seizures and treat chronic alcoholism
- Prescribed IV fluids to prevent dehydration and vitamin B complex to prevent delirium and treat deficiency in vitamins.
- If there is difficulty with breathing, oxygen therapy is used through the nasal cannula or non-rebreather mask which is a device that helps in the delivery of oxygen therapy.
- For severe stupor and coma, a breathing tube in the airway of the person to support respiration which can stop spontaneously. It also protects the lungs from filling with secretions and vomit. This process is called intubation. A short and flexible plastic tube is placed into the windpipe or the trachea found below the vocal cords. The tube is then attached to a respirator machine. It prevents air from the respirator from leaking into the mouth and prevents a large amount of vomit from the mouth from entering the lungs and result to suffocation and worsen the condition.
- If the person vomits more than once, needs to be treated immediately it can be a sign of head injury or other serious conditions.
- Avoid drinking on an empty stomach.
- Drink in moderation. Adult women should drink one drink per day, and men older than 65, only 2 drinks per day.