Can You Overdose on Alcohol?

Asking “Can You Overdose on Alcohol?” May Help You to Prevent Fatal Consequences of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol use disorder is one of the most prevalent types of substance abuse disorders in the US. The fact that there are so few restrictions for buying alcohol may contribute to that reality. The numbers speak for themselves: statistics from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that 26.7% of adults that were 18 and older reported binge drinking in the past month. According to those same statistics, 15.1 million adults in that age group have alcohol use disorder. Further, 88,000 deaths related to alcohol were documented. With so many Americans struggling with alcohol use disorder, it’s important to learn more about alcoholism. Asking “can you overdose on alcohol?” is and being able to recognize alcohol overdose signs are essential to understanding and combating addiction.

How Can You Tell If Someone Has a Drinking Problem?

It’s not always easy to tell if an addiction is present or not. Alcoholics are often defined by the number of drinks they have a day or total in a week. You’re considered an alcoholic if you’re a woman who consumes 3 or more drinks containing alcohol a day or 7 or more in a week or a man who consumes 4 or more a day or 14 or more in a week.

But alcohol abuse isn’t only about the number of drinks you have. Other signs that point to alcohol abuse are:

  • Experiencing difficulty attending school or showing up at work because of drinking
  • Drinking in risky situations, such as when you know you’ll have to drive or operate dangerous machines shortly after
  • Blackout drinking
  • Having legal troubles due to alcohol, such as DUIs or arrests
  • Injuring yourself or someone else when you drink
  • Drinking even if you have health problems due to drinking (for example, liver damage) or when you’re taking medication that prohibits drinking

What Is An Overdose?

An overdose happens when you take more of a substance than the maximum that your body can withstand. If you overload your system with alcohol past the point that your body can metabolize it, you experience alcohol poisoning.

Can You Overdose on Alcohol if You Aren’t An Alcoholic?

Yes. You also don’t need to fit the definition of an alcoholic to abuse alcohol or to drink enough to overdose. Abusing alcohol regularly may change your tolerance levels and make it so you can withstand larger amounts of alcohol. But simply drinking more than your body can take on one occasion is enough to overdose.

Can You Overdose on Alcohol Even If You’ve Only Had a Little to Drink?

Yes. Individual tolerance levels vary widely. Moreover, even if you’re a habitual drinker and you know your tolerance level, certain medications and drugs can alter your tolerance. It’s not safe to consume alcohol if you’re on any medication without your doctor’s approval. If you’re abusing any illicit substances, you should also avoid drinking.

Can You Overdose on Alcohol More Than Once?

Yes. If you’re prone to blacking out when drinking or abuse alcohol often, you’re putting yourself at a higher risk overdose every time.

What Are Alcohol Overdose Signs?

  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory depression
  • Pale skin or blue-tinged skin
  • Hypothermia
  • Unconsciousness, especially if you can’t be awakened

When Should You Seek Medical Assistance?

If you suspect you or someone close to you is presenting alcohol overdose signs you should call emergency services right away. It’s possible to survive an overdose of the right and prompt medical intervention.

If you or someone close to you are struggling with alcohol addiction, reach out to the friendly professionals at the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470 to get the help you need.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.