Alcohol Blackout- Causes and Cure

What is an alcohol blackout?

Alcohol-induced blackout is a phase you go through after consuming a large amount of alcohol and you are unable to recall anything that happened. Many lives have been destroyed due to it. Learn a bit more about it and how to avoid the blackouts.

Goodwin 1995 quotes “Blackouts represent episodes of amnesia, during which subjects are capable of participating even in salient, emotionally charged events-as well as more mundane events- that they later cannot remember.”

An experiment conducted by the Journal of American College Health in 2002 concluded that more than 50% of those who were drinking alcohol experienced blackouts.

However, not everyone will have blackouts.

The public, in general, is not aware of it until they have had one or know of someone.

What is the difference between passing out and blacking out?

Yes, they both are entirely different. A person in a blackout can carry out activities from simple to complex tasks such as dancing, carrying on a conversation, driving, etc. and is conscious however will not be able to recall the events participated in, later.

Passing out is when you felt unconscious due to binge drinking.

What causes alcohol blackouts

The common cause of the blackout is binge drinking. Binge drinking for those who do not know is drinking a large quantity of alcohol during a short span of time.

Several factors can cause blackouts too. Having too many drinks in an empty stomach, if your body isn’t dehydrated, or you haven’t had proper rest.

The scientific explanation for the cause is that alcohol impairs your memory even after a drink or two, but the one that takes a toll on you is the heavy drinking.

Neuroscientists from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, reports a significant amount of alcohol interferes with the primary receptors of the brain momentarily stopping the long-Term Potentiation (LTP).

LTP is a process that strengthens the connections between neurons responsible for learning and memory.

How long can a blackout last in a person?

It is one of the most common questions asked, and the answer isn’t quite simple as one may think. The effect can vary based on several factors like age, gender, ethnicity, the amount of food you have had, and your drinking habits.

The tolerance of alcohol can also be genetic. Experts say it can last for few mins to up to a week after drinking.

What are the dangers of alcohol blackouts?

Short term damages include incidents that can alter the whole course of your life. Not to mention that there are lots of people who have ended up in jails, many have been victims of crime, violence, rape, and much.

Men have found to be more aggressive and involve in violent activity. People have woken up with bruises and injuries without know what happened the other day.

Research on college students who binge drink showed 33% insulted someone, 16% engaged in arguments or fights, and 16% damaged property and were involved in other problem behaviors.

The long-term danger of alcohol-induced blackout, as per NIAAA, includes:

Violence after alcohol blackout

Behavioral Issues
Impaired cognitive development
Brain damage
Permanent memory impairment

Are blackouts a sign of alcoholism?

No, blackouts can happen to anyone right from a social drinker to an alcoholic. It has nothing to do with the drinking habit of a person but rather how soon you finish your drink within a given span of time that can leave you more susceptible to it.

How much drink does it take for alcohol blackouts?

The amount of alcohol that can trigger it isn’t defined as it varies from person to person. However, research says that for men five or more and women four or more, within two hours, can be a cause of it.

Based on genetics, the amount can vary, too.

How to avoid alcohol blackouts?

It is important to know your drinking limits to avoid it however there are some steps you can take to ensure you don’t suffer from one.

Planning and preparing for any events that may need you to have some amount of alcohol. So before you go to the event make sure:

1. Take a good rest

Make sure you have had a sound sleep. You are prone to blackouts if you are sleep deprived. Take a good rest before going out to the party.

2. Eat Well

An empty stomach is one of the most popular reasons. Avoid drinking if you are an empty stomach.

3. No drink games

Binge drinking is again among the top reason even if you are well fed. Lower down your drinking speed. One of the tricks is to have to change your alcoholic drinks with a non-alcoholic one.

4. Hydrate

Have plenty of water before you head out for drinks. You won’t be thirsty, and it will slow down your speed.

It is strongly advised no matter you should know the limits and drink slowly. Its best to have something to eat while drinking.

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