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What Are the Signs of Alcohol Intoxication?

Last updated: Wednesday, 14, September 2022

The amount of alcohol the body can tolerate varies from person to person. You will suffer from alcohol intoxication or drunkenness if you exceed this tolerance level. Signs or symptoms which indicate an individual may be drinking include the following:

  • Behavioral changes such as being too aggressive, cheerful, loud, and animated
  • Having trouble staying awake
  • Looking confused or having difficulties remembering things
  • Swaying or walking unsteadily
  • Jerky movements
  • Slurred speech
  • Blacking out
  • Flushed face
  • Sweating
  • Complaining of headaches or dizziness

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A person who appears intoxicated or drunk should be checked for confirmation. This is because there could be other reasons why the person is exhibiting such symptoms. One possible explanation for such behavior is illness. Without proper medical assessment, it would be hard to distinguish symptoms of intoxication from certain diseases or health conditions such as low blood sugar, concussion, and even pulmonary embolism.

Degrees of Intoxication

  • Depending on the amount of alcohol consumed, a person can experience varying levels of intoxication. Based on blood-alcohol level or blood-alcohol concentration, you might exhibit the following symptoms:
  • Euphoria - for BAC ranging between .03 and .12 percent, characterized by increased sociability.
  • Lethargy - for BAC ranging between .09 and .25 percent, characterized by delayed reactions.
  • Confusion - for BAC ranging between .18 and.30 percent, characterized by staggering.
  • Stupor-BAC ranges between .25 and .40 percent, characterized by decreased heart rate.
  • Coma - for BAC ranging between. 35 and .50 percent, characterized by unconsciousness.

Taking Care of an Intoxicated Individual

A person suffering from mild alcohol intoxication can be taken home and monitored. In addition, you will need to ensure that the person is kept away from dangerous machines and driving. You also need to ask the person if any medication or illegal drug was ingested with the alcohol. You should check the individual's responsiveness to rule out injuries or illnesses.

In extreme cases, treatment for alcohol intoxication will require the following:

  • Medication for nausea, anxiety, or tremors
  • Dialysis
  • Dextrose
  • Electrolytes
  • Administration of thiamine

Laws governing alcohol intoxication are different in each country. In Canada, you can be charged with impaired driving if you drive while under the influence of alcohol. A blood-alcohol concentration of .08 percent is considered the legal limit, and if caught for the first time, you can be fined $600 Canadian and not allowed to drive for one to three years. A second offense means 14 days of jail time and driving restrictions for five years.

References: http://www.drugs.com/cg/alcohol-intoxication.html

CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ARTICLE

Nickolaus Hayes - Author

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