Alcohol-Related Emergencies and What to Do


Alcohol-Related Emergencies

Most of us enjoy an occasional drink with dinner or on a night out with friends. But drinking too much can put your health at risk.

Drinking too much makes you more prone to accidents which can be serious. And excessive alcohol consumption can, over time, lead to serious health problems and chronic disease.

Alcohol-Related Emergencies

The Hard Facts of Alcohol-Related Emergencies and Deaths

Alcohol-related emergencies and deaths are on the rise affecting everyone in the community. Here are some of the latest statistics provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:

  • The rate of alcohol-related emergency room visits nearly doubled in recent years
  • Alcohol is a contributing factor in approximately 18.5% of ER visits
  • Alcohol is the fourth leading cause of preventable deaths, with more than 140,000 Americans dying each year from alcohol-related causes
  • Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities claim the lives of more than 13,000 Americans every year
Alcohol-Related Emergencies

Alcohol-Abuse Warning Signs


These disturbing facts highlight the need to recognize the warning signs of alcohol abuse and when you need to be concerned about a person’s safety.

First, let’s define what’s is excessive drinking.

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is the most common form of excessive alcohol drinking. Binge drinking involves drinking large amounts of alcohol in one outing.

Generally, having too much alcohol means:

  • Four or more drinks for women
  • Five or more drinks for men

Heavy Drinking

Heavy drinking refers to the amount of alcohol a person consumes per week.

  • For women, this means eight or more drinks per week
  • For men, it’s 15 or more drinks per week

Not all people who drink excessively are alcoholics. Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), more commonly known as alcoholism, is a medical condition. A person with AUD cannot stop or control their drinking despite knowing the damage it causes to their health, work, and relationships.

The Real Dangers of Drinking Too Much


Even small amounts of alcohol can impair our cognitive and physical abilities, making us more prone to accidents, such as:

  • Traffic accidents
  • Burns
  • Falls
  • Drowning
  • Engaging in violent or risky behavior
  • Suicide – 21% of suicide victims have blood alcohol concentrations of 0.01% or more
  • Alcohol poisoning – This is a time-sensitive medical emergency

Alcohol can also have long-term adverse effects on our health and is a contributor to the development of many chronic diseases, such as:

  • Liver disease, including cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatitis
  • High blood pressure and other cardiovascular disorders
  • Stroke
  • Certain types of cancer, including liver, breast, throat, mouth, and colon
  • Dementia and other cognitive problems, such as poor school or work performance
  • Depression and anxiety

Alcohol-Related Emergencies, Warning Signs, and What to Do


Severe injuries from motor vehicle accidents, falls, burns, drownings, and violence require immediate medical attention. If you witness any of these, please call 911.

Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning is a time-sensitive medical emergency. Alcohol overdose can be fatal unless treated in time.

Please call 911 immediately if you notice someone with the following signs:

  • Glazed eyes and pupils that react slowly to light
  • Trouble focusing the eyes
  • Unable to stay awake or passing out
  • Difficulty awakening after passing out
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Skin is clammy, pale, or cold
  • Doesn’t respond to pain stimuli such as a pinch
  • Vomiting blood (may look like coffee grounds)
  • Vomiting while passed out
  • Weak, slow, or irregular pulse or rapid pulse

What You Should Do in Case of an Alcohol-Related Emergency

  • Call 911
  • Stay with the person
  • Turn them on their side so they don’t choke on their vomit

Alcohol-related emergencies are serious and always require medical attention. If you fear someone is experiencing alcohol poisoning or another related emergency, don’t hesitate to come to RapidCare ER, we are the best choice in emergency care.