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Having a glass or two of wine is fine, but what happens when you drink too much alcohol too quickly?
Many people have woken up after a night of drinking with a firm resolution in mind: “I’m never drinking again.” Far too often, one drink turns into two and two turns into many more and, eventually, we find ourselves drunk.
When someone is intoxicated, that person loses a lot of the motor skills that he or she possesses when he or she isn’t drunk. Imagine a drunk person trying to read that last sentence — it just wouldn’t sound good. Other than slurred speech, we all know what drunk people look like: They drop glasses, they stumble around, and they often they wind up making regrettable decisions.
When someone drinks too much and doesn’t remember what happened, he or she has experienced a blackout. While there are different underlying factors that influence a blackout, there’s one common theme amongst those experiencing one: A blackout represents a dangerously high level of intoxication. If you don’t remember things that happened after going out, you’ve simply had far too much to drink. Other than losing valuable possessions, embarrassing yourself on the dance floor, and potentially having unprotected sex with a stranger (and let’s not even mention the carnage that could occur if you drive a car in that condition), blacking out can lead to much more dire consequences.
Drinking to the point of a blackout can often lead to physical harm or, in the worst cases, death. We’ve done some research behind blackouts and also reached out to some experts in the field of substance abuse in order to help inform readers of what is actually happening during an alcohol-induced blackout.
Jay Woody, MD, co-founder and chief medical officer of Legacy ER & Urgent Care, helped us learn more about blacking out, and Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), a specialist in substance abuse, warns against the potentially deadly outcomes of over consumption.
If someone is “in a blackout, they can easily have reached the point of alcohol poisoning,” says Dr. Martinez. “When someone does, they can choke on their own vomit, [and] if they have mixed with medication, their central nervous system can slow their respiration so much they stop breathing.”
a 62-year-old man who whose blood-alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit when he crashed his SUV in Naperville last year was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for his fourth DUI conviction.
Naperville police said they found 15 cans of beer inside David R. Carlson’s sport utility vehicle following the Feb. 6, 2015, crash on the city’s far northwest side. A breath test determined Carlson’s blood-alcohol content at the time was .278.
Carlson, of the 5300 block of Woodland Drive in Oak Forest, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony charge of aggravated DUI/fourth violation, according to DuPage County court records.
Three other counts of aggravated DUI were dismissed in exchange for the plea, as were five traffic citations, records showed. Judge Robert A. Miller accepted Carlson’s plea and sentenced him to prison, followed by two years of mandatory supervised release, records said.
Carlson crashed his vehicle at the intersection of North Aurora Road and Route 59, landing in a concrete ditch created by the mammoth Route 59 reconstruction project under way at the time.
Police found Carlson walking toward a nearby pharmacy, and when asked if he had been drinking, Carlson said, “Don’t do this to me,” and that he had “to take care of his wife,” who was not with him at the time, police reports said. Carlson also claimed “his doctor was sending him to the hospital tomorrow for alcoholism,” the report said.
Carlson could not perform the sobriety tests police administered on the scene, and 10 empty beer cans and five full cans were found on the floor and center console of his SUV.
At the time of his arrest, Carlson was wanted on arrest warrants for DUI cases pending in DuPage and Lake counties and in Crown Point, Ind. Carlson had had his license revoked several times for DUI, reports said.
Attempts to reach members of Carlson’s family by telephone for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful.
Carlson is being held in the DuPage County Jail pending his transfer to the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Read this short book for your protection and learn more about the harmful effects of alcohol and other drugs. why you should say no
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Washing down some cold ones is an international pastime, but people around the world are drinking less alcohol for the first time since 2001, MarketWatch reported. Except for Americans, that is.
According to Euromonitor International, a market research firm, consumption fell from 249.7 billion liters in 2014 to 248 billion liters in 2015. (That’s a 0.7% decrease.) Global alcohol consumption has been steadily rising ever since Euromonitor International began tracking market trends in 2001, so this is an unprecedented dip.
But there’s some good news for the beer and spirits industry, at least: North Americans are still boozing it up. (Good job, ‘merica!) In 2015, the continent bought 33.8 billion liters of alcohol, 700 million more liters than in 2014.
Small batch brew-loving hipsters (and everyone else who likes fancy brewskis) might have something to do with it, too. The strong North American economy and the popularity of craft beer and microbreweries have given sales a bump, analyst Spiros Malandrakis told MarketWatch.
Other than suds, what else quenches America’s thirst? Beer is far and away the beverage of choice for Americans, but 34% of Americans who drink say they prefer sipping wine, and 21% drink liquor most often, Gallup reported in 2015.
Mo’ money, mo’ drinking: No matter the country, economic strength has a strong influence on alcohol sales. MarketWatch reported that the struggling economies in China and Brazil led to less alcohol consumption in 2015. Similarly, U.S. consumption fell during the 2008 to 2009 recession, a Harvard School of Public Health study showed.
But in an ironic twist, wild nights might not be so great for the economy. A 2015 reportfrom the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that binge drinking, aka consuming four to five drinks in a matter of two hours, cost the U.S. economy $250 billion in 2010 due to lost productivity and alcohol-fueled crimes.
So… better rethink that last tequila shot. For your future self, and for your country.