Alcohol poisoning occurs when a large amount of alcohol is consumed in a short period of time preventing proper processing out of the body. Binge drinking--quickly drinking five or more drinks in a row--is the primary cause of alcohol poisoning. Immediate treatment is required to prevent long-term damage or even death.
Also a symptom of intoxication, confusion is a sign of alcohol poisoning. As the body begins to absorb the alcohol consumed, confusion can cause the person to appear as if they are in a stupor. In severe cases, unconsciousness or blackouts may occur.
In severe cases of alcohol poisoning, a person consumes so much alcohol that their body begins to reject it, causing seizures. If a friend or family member begins to seize after drinking alcohol, call 911 immediately and try to keep their head stable to prevent a head injury.
Nausea or Vomiting
When an abundance of alcohol is consumed, nausea can develop while the body is trying to find an adequate supply of water for hydration. Some people only experience nausea while others experience nausea that causes vomiting. It is important to drink water after consuming alcohol to prevent dehydration.
Changes to Breathing
Alcohol poisoning can slow down the respiratory system. The result is slow breathing of less than eight breaths per minute, delayed or irregular breathing. Observe the person to ensure that he is breathing and, if necessary, try to coach his breathing by instructing him to inhale and exhale in a consistent rhythm.
Low Body Temperature
When the systems of the body begin to slow and blood is not flowing properly, body temperature will drop. The person may feel cool or clammy to the touch or complain of being cold in seemingly normal, warm or hot conditions. Try to maintain a consistent body temperature by covering the person with blankets or extra clothing until treatment is sought.
Changes to Skin Tone
As the person's temperature drops, his skin may become pale or even take on a bluish tone. Observe any changes in skin tone and alert or update the person's doctor of these changes.