Alcohol overdose is a severe medical condition associated with extremely high blood alcohol levels. It commonly occurs with binge drinking and alcohol addiction and requires immediate medical attention.
When someone drinks too much alcohol, either intentionally or unintentionally, they can quickly end up in a fatal situation or endure brain damage if the proper care is not taken.
Being able to identify the signs of alcohol poisoning can save someone’s life. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to treat alcohol overdose including an antidote.
Medications Used To Reverse Alcohol Overdose
Once the person experiencing alcohol poisoning makes it to the hospital or other care facility, there are a few ways healthcare professionals may work to treat the overdose.
This may include medications, procedures, and other treatments that are designed to reduce the amount of alcohol in your body.
Some of these medications can even have reversing effects and act as antidotes to alcohol overdose.
One of the most common medications used to reverse alcohol overdose is metadoxine. This drug is used for acute alcohol intoxication, alcohol overdose, and for chronic intoxication, which may be seen in alcohol addiction.
Metadoxine works by speeding up the rate at which ethanol is cleared from the blood. In other words, it can help to lower your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
Another medication that is seen in the treatment of alcohol overdose is fomepizole. This drug is used in a different kind of alcohol overdose.
Believe it or not, it’s possible to overdose on alcohol without drinking alcoholic beverages. This is because the ingestion of other products and household items such as antifreeze and solvents can cause methanol or ethylene glycol poisoning.
Fomepizole is the antidote for this kind of alcohol overdose and is sometimes used alongside hemodialysis which is the mechanical filtration of your blood.
Other Treatments For Alcohol Overdose
There are other treatment options and procedures often used to treat alcohol overdose.
These treatments can be used alongside medications and antidotes or may be used on their own, depending on the needs of the individual.
The first thing a healthcare provider may do in case of alcohol poisoning is check your vital signs to assess your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and check for low body temperature.
Once vital system checks have been completed, a provider may assess other common effects of overdosing on alcohol and treat each in turn, such as the following.
A supplemental treatment that can help reduce the symptoms of alcohol poisoning is glucose administration.
When a person drinks alcohol, the amount of insulin your body produces is increased, which, in turn, lowers your blood sugar and causes hypoglycemia.
Low blood sugar can lead to alcohol poisoning symptoms such as dizziness, shakiness, and fatigue. By administering glucose, these symptoms may be reduced.
One of the most well-known effects of alcohol consumption is that it dehydrates your body. When it comes to alcohol poisoning, this symptom is highly amplified.
Extreme dehydration can have harmful effects on many different organs and bodily functions, so it’s vital to restore hydration as soon as possible.
Fluids are typically administered to you via an IV, which allows the fluids to enter the bloodstream directly and work faster.
There are a couple of different breathing assessments that may be used on you during an alcohol overdose.
The first is a breathalyzer, which is a tool that measures how much alcohol is in your bloodstream. This can help medical professionals determine how severe the alcohol poisoning is.
Second, alcohol can cause you to breathe too slowly which may lead to loss of consciousness. Healthcare professionals may assess the rate of your breathing to determine if you need additional treatments like oxygen.
Lastly, alcohol can reduce your gag reflex, which can cause you to choke on your own vomit and prevent oxygen flow. In this case, you may be intubated to keep your airway clear.
Treatment Options For Alcohol Use Disorder
Reducing the number of alcohol poisoning deaths and other fatal effects of alcohol addiction means offering effective alcohol recovery options.
Located on the East Coast near Boston, Bedrock Recovery Center is an accredited and well-rated facility equipped to treat all kinds of substance abuse, including alcohol abuse.
We offer treatment for every individual’s needs and provide programs for detoxification, medication-assisted treatment, inpatient services, and co-occurring mental health care.
There are also additional resources such as therapy, recovery education, and support groups at Bedrock.
Find Substance Use Disorder Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center
Are you or your loved one ready to beat alcohol addiction? Give the Bedrock Recovery Center helpline a call today.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/p0106-alcohol-poisoning.html
- Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs https://www.ddap.pa.gov/overdose/Pages/Alcohol-Poisoning-Overdose.aspx
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/understanding-dangers-of-alcohol-overdose
- PubChem https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/fomepizole
- PubChem https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/115198