What Happens To People During Blackouts From Alcohol?

When a person consumes alcohol, their brain goes through a number of changes as the BAC (blood alcohol content) level gradually rises. Once a person enough alcohol has been ingested, the risk of “blacking out” also starts to grow.

When a person officially blacks out from drinking too much alcohol, the brain will somewhat or entirely fail at creating long term memories. This can be incredibly dangerous because it can lead to destroyed friendships and relationships, assault on a physical or sexual level, injury, and even death.

What Happens to the Brain During a Blackout?

In simple terms, a significant amount of alcohol consumption can cause amnesia, or a loss of memory over a certain period of time. When a blackout occurs, a person is experiencing amnesia induced by alcohol, and during this time, their brain is incapable of forming memories that can be later remembered over a long term.

Once the individual regains their memory, usually by the next day, they will likely have no recollection of anything that occurred after a certain point while they were drinking. Sometimes, they might even wake up in places that are unfamiliar to them, or with people they don’t know or can’t remember.

When a person experiences a partial blackout, or when they can still recall fragments of a drunken episode, this is commonly referred to as a brownout.

Studies have shown time and time again that a person’s memory can be affected from even just a couple of alcoholic drinks. As the person consumes more alcohol, their memory is more severely compromised. Once a person reaches a BAC level of roughly 0.15%, they are at a heightened risk for experiencing a blackout. If this level reaches .20%, it is highly likely a blackout will occur. A number of factors can impact a person’s likelihood to black out including:

  • Weight
  • Sex
  • Level of food consumption prior to and during the alcohol consumption
  • Genetics
  • The speed at which the individual is drinking

What Happens Around a Person During a Blackout?

When a person blacks out from consuming too much alcohol, they may not later recall the things that occurred during that time. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the person was incapable of making decisions while they were blackout-drunk, either. Certain things might occur during a blackout episode including:

  • Arguments and fighting
  • Spending money
  • Experiencing sexual or physical assault
  • Having unprotected and/or unwanted sex
  • Damage to property
  • Injury
  • Death

Does Getting Blackout Drunk Make Me an Alcoholic?

There are plenty of researchers, scientists, and healthcare professionals who are firm believers that getting blackout drunk is a warning sign for dependency. While blacking out from drinking excessively is a theme that’s not too uncommon in college/party life, experiencing it repeatedly is enough to raise questions over what is happening at the molecular, physical, and mental level in the body.

Addiction is a very real and serious problem that often goes unnoticed until it has become extremely pronounced and complex. This is especially true in today’s society where alcohol is a common staple in practically every aspect of the western lifestyle. What might seem like a harmless weekend activity to you could actually be fueling a growing dependency that has the potential to eventually wreak havoc on all aspects of your life.

When It’s Time for Treatment

When you struggle with alcohol addiction, your life revolves around supporting the dependency and ensuring that it is sated at all times. As a result, your job, school life, relationships, and quality of life all suffer and fall by the wayside. At some points, it might even feel like you can barely hold your life together due to the addiction’s influence and power. The good news is that there is simply no addiction that is too powerful to be treated. There will always be hope and help waiting around the corner, should you choose to accept it.

Sometimes, it can even be a struggle for people to determine whether or not they are suffering from an addiction in the first place. As a rule of thumb, these are common signs of alcohol dependency:

  • Frequent blackouts or brownouts
  • Constantly having to “clean up” after mistakes made during a drunken episode
  • Agitation/anxiety from not having a drink for a certain period of time
  • Inability to quit drinking, even when it’s overly apparent you need to do so
  • A tolerance level that seems to get higher each time you drink
  • Avoiding situations that won’t involve alcohol
  • Problems at work due to drinking
  • Concerned family and friends who have spoken out about their concern

Seeking Help with Addiction

The idea of getting an alcohol addiction under control via “cold turkey” methods or alternative means seems enticing, especially in a society where independence is so heavily sought after and encouraged. However, as human beings, not everything can be effectively approached without guidance. There is no shame in requesting the help of others with something as complex as addiction.

The truth is that quitting alcohol suddenly can be an extremely dangerous health hazard for people who have strong alcohol dependencies. The withdrawal symptoms for alcohol can sometimes be so severe that nausea, heart palpitations, heightened blood pressure, hallucinations, and even seizures are possible. Simply put, an effort to stop drinking should only ever be made in a medical facility that offers a safe detox program.

If you or someone you know is struggling with the effects of alcohol addiction, the only answer is to seek treatment. Once a person enters an official program for treatment and therapy, only then can the process toward true recovery actually begin.

Don’t let addiction maintain control over your life for another string of weeks, months, or even years. Regain control over your life by choosing recovery. Contact us at Coastal Detox by calling 877-978-3125

Connor Barton
Connor Barton
2022-06-03
Verified
The staff here is amazing. Caring and attentive. I finally kicked the sticks and couldn’t be happier.
Jacob Rashid
Jacob Rashid
2022-06-03
Verified
So nice to have Grandma back to her old self. She has struggled with xannies for as long as I can remember. The staff were so attentive and met her where she was, not where they wanted her to be. Thank you Coastal Detox!
Tara Payne
Tara Payne
2022-05-20
Verified
I struggled with alcohol addiction for most of my life. After many tries nothing worked.It was my 43rd birthday and I wasn't gonna see 44 if I didn't get help. I called around and found Coastal. So glad I did. I am so grateful for EVERYONE there. This beautiful facility is not just a detox. They actually have programs to help you learn to live a sober life and enjoy being yourself again! Entire staff is awesome! (Ms Diana ❤️ and Mrs Karen ❤️)They really understand how your feeling as most are in recovery also. If your looking for some help please give them a call. I give them 10+stars. Five months sober now!!! Thank you Coastal!!!
Bob Hawkins
Bob Hawkins
2022-05-04
Verified
The entire staff of Coastal is great, the therapists, the nurses, the techs, everyone. It’s a great environment to begin your recovery in. As an added perk, the food is some of the best you’ll ever have thanks to the chefs.
Tony Givens
Tony Givens
2022-05-04
Verified
My experience at coastal detox was very good, the staff there is terrific. They helped me get through the process of detox in a safe and professional manor.
Jodi Silverman Goldberg
Jodi Silverman Goldberg
2022-03-21
Verified
It been almost a year!! Thank y’all
Matthew Mcnulty
Matthew Mcnulty
2022-03-07
Verified
This is the top tier Rehab/Detox center in Southeast FL. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them. Their attention to detail is impressive. They specialize in treating alcohol abuse among several other conditions. If you or a loved one are looking for a blueprint on how to sober up…Coastal Detox will lead you there.
Mary Katz
Mary Katz
2022-02-26
Verified
My experience with Coastal has been one of empathy, kindness and family. From Admissions to Nurses to techs I have never felt so cared for. Food and drink 24/7. Coastal is a place I went twice. First time 14 days next 6days later for another 11. At 59 and umpteen detoxes Coastal by far is Heaven Sent! As a Nutritionist and Trainer, I'm so happy to be back....the Mary ,who was lost:)
vicky ehr
vicky ehr
2022-01-29
Verified
Great place . Helped me so much I am a 64 year old woman and this place got me sober with dignity and kindness. I highly recommend it plus the food is incredible. Rooms are really well laid out. 2 guys to a room . Each bed has its own t.v with head sets so you dont bother your roomate. Take an extra pillow and comfort blanket from home. At least 3 pairs of pj’ s sock and shoes and comfortable clothing fit. You do your own laundry there. I will send you the link to look at. After thinking all morning this is hands down the place for you. Lots of young people and fantastic therapists. For my wonderful son who suffers. From addiction the way I do.

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