Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning occurs when a toxic amount of alcohol has been consumed, usually in a short period of time. A person with alcohol poisoning can appear extremely disoriented, unresponsive or unconscious, with shallow breathing. Alcohol poisoning can be fatal and should be taken very seriously. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has done a lot of research about alcohol poisoning. To learn more about what happens to your body when you have alcohol poisoning, please review the NIAA website.

Binge Drinking

Alcohol poisoning often occurs when someone drinks too much in a short period of time. This is also referred to as binge drinking. What is binge drinking? According to NIAAA, binge drinking is "a pattern of drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 gram percent or above." For a typical male adult, this equates to consuming five or more drinks. For a typical female adult, it would be consuming four or more drinks in about a two-hour period.

Blood Alcohol Concentration Charts

There are many factors that affect your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) when you drink. Some of these include:

  • a person's size, gender and physical condition
  • how much they have eaten prior to drinking
  • how much sleep they have had
  • what medications they are taking
  • the actual alcohol content of their chosen "drink."

For more information, please reference the BAC charts for men and women.