Alcohol-related Death Causes and Risk Factors

It is also important to understand that alcohol is high in empty calories and that drinking alcohol has been correlated to obesity. This is an indirect way in which alcohol damages the heart because obesity strains the cardiovascular system and increases the risks of heart disease. There are gender differences in alcohol-related mortality and morbidity, as well as levels and patterns of alcohol consumption. The percentage of alcohol-attributable deaths among men amounts to 7.7 % of all global deaths compared to 2.6 % of all deaths among women.

Some people may begin to show signs of alcohol poisoning after only four or five drinks within a two-hour period of time. When your liver breaks down, too many toxic substances build up, and these substances can damage brain cells, causing anxiety, depression, comas, and coordination problems. Ammonia and manganese can also find their ways to your brain, causing hepatic encephalopathy, which can be fatal. Moderate alcohol use may have some benefits, but heavy or binge drinking has no health benefits. It’s defined as three drinks in a day or more than seven drinks a week for women and for men older than 65, and more than four drinks in a day or more than 14 drinks a week for men 65 and younger. Excessive drinking includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking by pregnant women or people younger than age 21.

Recognizing an overdose

The harmful use of alcohol causes a high burden of disease and has significant social and economic consequences. If you have a friend whose drinking concerns you, help them stay safe. If you can, try to keep friends who have been drinking from doing how can alcohol kill you anything dangerous, such as trying to walk home at night alone or starting a fight. Don’t get in a car with someone who’s been drinking, even if that person is your ride home. Ask a sober adult to drive you instead or call a cab or car service.

Detoxing from alcohol can take up to two weeks, depending on the amount of alcohol consumed and how long it has been used. During detoxification, symptoms such as nausea, sweating, shaking and hallucinations may occur; medication is often prescribed to help reduce these symptoms. After detox, patients can begin counseling and therapy to address the root causes of alcohol use disorder. It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects when they stop drinking. The severity of the symptoms will depend on how much and for how long the person has been drinking. If you’re concerned about quitting alcohol abruptly, it’s best to speak with a medical professional to get their opinion on the matter.

Recovery Advocacy

In addition, you’re more likely to experience serious withdrawal symptoms, like hallucinations and seizures. And if you have other health problems, they may get worse during detox. Teen drinkers also are more likely to get fat or have health problems. People who continue drinking heavily well into adulthood risk damaging their organs, such as the liver, heart, and brain.

  • The context of drinking plays an important role in the occurrence of alcohol-related harm, particularly as a result of alcohol intoxication.
  • Overdosing on alcohol is just as dangerous as overdosing on other drugs.
  • In fact, detoxing on your own means there’s no one there when things get rough.

This is primarily because drinking is linked to high blood pressure and obesity, both of which contribute to heart conditions. However, drinking also increases the level of triglycerides (harmful fats) in the blood. This can result in high blood pressure, increased caloric intake, and heart failure. Alcohol poisoning occurs when someone drinks so much alcohol that their blood-alcohol content rises to toxic levels. The body has a limited capacity to safely metabolize the toxins in alcohol, so too much alcohol can overwhelm the body’s systems. Alcohol poisoning is a major risk of binge drinking, or drinking large quantities of alcohol in a short span of time.


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