Skip to Content
Alcohol poisoning occurs when a person consumes an excessive amount
of alcohol. Alcohol can depress or stop nerve signals that control breathing
and the gag reflex that prevents choking; alcohol poisoning is a serious
condition that can lead to irreversible brain damage or death if not treated
Signs of alcohol poisoning include:
The level of alcohol in the blood continues to rise even after a
person stops drinking. It can take around 30 to 90 minutes for the alcohol to
enter the bloodstream, circulate throughout the body, and cause full
intoxication. The amount of time depends on how quickly and how much the person
drank along with what else is in the stomach.
Drinking coffee, walking or sleeping it off, or taking a cold
shower will not help reverse the symptoms of alcohol poisoning. Immediate medical treatment is always needed if you suspect
Current as of:
February 24, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Peter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
© Copyright 2016 Rush-Copley Medical Center • 2000 Ogden Avenue; Aurora, IL 60504
Main: 630-978-6200 • Physician Referral & Information: 630-978-6700 or 866-4COPLEY (866-426-7539)