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It is Important to Know the Difference Between a Bad Hangover and Alcohol Poisoning
A night of excess drinking will cause you to wake up feeling very sick in the morning. The strength of the hangover will be based on the amount of alcohol that was consumed. Symptoms can range from mild to intense. In fact, sometimes the hangover feels like alcohol withdrawals.
The hangover may last for one to three days. This depends on such factors as the amount of liquor consumed, the age, sex, and size of the individual. It also matters whether the person drinks regularly or only over-indulges occasionally.
As you sit there shaking next to the toilet you might wonder if you have alcohol poisoning or a bad hangover. As horrible as you might feel after a night of heavy drinking, the hangover pales next to alcohol poisoning. People don’t die from a hangover,
but alcohol poisoning takes six lives every single day.
Alcohol poisoning is a serious health event that requires very fast intervention. That is quite different from a hangover. A hangover is just the body’s response to being overcome with toxins. If you feel badly the morning after heavy drinking it is simply a hangover.
What Is a Hangover?
A hangover does not threaten your life, even if it may feel like it at the time. As the body attempts to expel the toxins, you will feel quite sick. The burden of toxins in the bloodstream affects the body and the mind. The body is confused. The drinking kept increasing the night before, but by morning the level of alcohol in the blood plummets. This sends the body into mild withdrawal symptoms that are made worse by dehydration.
Hangover symptoms may include:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Excess thirst and dry mouth.
- Sensitive to light and sounds.
- Feeling shaky, trembling.
- Dizziness or feeling like the room is spinning.
- Muscle aches.
- Feeling irritable.
- Mental confusion.
- Can’t concentrate.
- Sleep problems.
- Feeling anxious.
Alcohol abuse can trigger many responses in the body, such as inflammatory response, dehydration, irritation of the stomach lining, expansion of blood vessels, and a decrease in blood sugar. These responses then cause the physical symptoms of a hangover.
Treating a Hangover
Although there is no silver bullet for getting through a hangover, there are some simple steps to take. These can help improve the symptoms somewhat. Drinking lots of water, as well as Gatorade, to help replace electrolytes can help.
Some people swear by high carbs if you can bring yourself to eat. Also, there are over the counter meds that aid stomach distress, headache, and muscle aches. Time is the best cure for a hangover.
What Does Alcohol Poisoning Feel Like?
Alcohol poisoning occurs while the person is still in the process of excessive drinking. Alcohol poisoning is caused by binge drinking or drinking a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time. This causes more toxins to build up in the bloodstream than the body can handle. This then overwhelms the liver.
Symptoms of alcohol poisoning may include:
- Mental confusion or stupor.
- Profuse vomiting.
- Slowed or irregular breathing.
- Low body temperature and chills.
- Decreased blood pressure.
- Increased heart rate.
- Pale skin or blue-tinged fingertips.
One of the most common causes of death due to alcohol poisoning involves the loss of the gag reflex. This can cause the person to choke on their vomit.
Treatment for Alcohol Poisoning
When someone shows some of the symptoms of alcohol poisoning after binge drinking, it is so important that they receive immediate help. Once they are admitted into the emergency department, the individual will be carefully monitored. This will involve health workers that assist with breathing and prevent choking. Oxygen is given, as well as I.V. fluids that prevent dehydration. In some cases, the person will have their stomach pumped to remove excess alcohol from the system.
Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment
If it turns out that you have an alcohol problem you may benefit from an alcohol treatment program. These programs can help you look into your drinking behaviors and triggers. Treatment can help you make changes in the thought patterns that trigger alcohol abuse or bingeing.
If there is an underlying emotional issue involved that is driving the alcohol abuse that can also be dealt with. Therapy helps you to overcome that pain and find healthy ways to manage feelings.
If the alcohol abuse has been long standing, residential detox will be the first step of the treatment program. During a detox, a detox team will supervise your symptoms and offer help to ease them. Their support is vital to successfully guiding you through the detox process.
Once detox is done, the active treatment phase of recovery begins. During this phase, there will be a multi-pronged treatment approach that offers a list of therapies. These activities help you make constructive changes in your habits and thoughts. Therapy can be accessed in either an outpatient or inpatient program.
Outpatient rehab allows you to live at home while going through the program. An inpatient program involves a period of living at the treatment center.
Following treatment, ongoing weekly therapy sessions and involvement in a local recovery support group can help sustain recovery long-term. Sober living is another good aftercare option.
Capo By the Sea Provides Effective Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder
Capo by the Sea is an elite treatment program serving Southern California, nestled in a quiet coastal town. Capo by the Sea offers the highest grade of treatment interventions for people who struggle with alcohol abuse or alcoholism. The tranquil seaside setting provides the perfect setting for healing and therapy. The luxury appointments address every creature comfort.
Call our friendly admissions team to ask any questions about alcohol use disorder. For more details about the rehab program, please contact Capo by the Sea today at (888) 529-2114.