mental hospital near me - SUN Behavioral Columbus

24 Hour Crisis Stabilization

Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol Overdose

Have you ever watched a movie where there is a college party? Frat boys running around with red solo cups, cheering on keg stands, and don’t forget the endless amount of shots of random liquor being given out. The movie portrays this scene as wild and fun with loud music and dancing. The actors in the movie seem to be invincible and alcohol does not seem to affect any of them in a negative way, that is until the hangover the next day.

What the movies do not tell you is this, your blood alcohol content (BAC) rises even after you have stopped drinking. By taking in a lot of alcohol in a little bit of time, brain functions can slow and become impaired before the body “feels” the full effects. This makes binge drinking dangerous and increases the likelihood of an alcohol overdose/poisoning.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 2015 and 2019, 1,100 deaths occurred related to chronic alcohol use in Ohio. These include those living with alcohol use disorder. Also, the average Ohioan drank about 15 alcoholic beverages a day in 2020. We’re interested in the well-being of our whole community here at SUN Behavioral Health in Columbus. Let’s talk more about alcohol poisoning, how it can happen, and what you can do if you notice someone experiencing it. 

Who is at Risk for Alcohol Poisoning?

Many factors come into play for who is at risk for alcohol poisoning. The most common are:

  • Weight – the higher a person’s body mass the more alcohol it will take to reach a harmful level.
  • Age – teenagers and young adults are more likely to binge drink than older adults. This leads to greater chances of alcohol poisoning.
  • Food intake before and during alcohol use – food helps slow the absorption of alcohol. When there is food in the stomach, it prevents alcohol from going straight to the small intestine where it is mostly absorbed.
  • Rate of alcohol intake – the faster alcohol is consumed, the chances of poisoning increase.
  • Medications – certain medications such as opioids and benzodiazepines can intensify the effects of alcohol. Even over-the-counter antihistamines can cause adverse effects when taken with alcohol.

Even though every person is different, alcohol poisoning can affect anyone. 

On average, a BAC level between .16-.30 can cause severe impairment and be considered alcohol poisoning. Anything over .08 is considered legally intoxicated in Ohio and increases impairment. Speech, balance, decision-making, and the ability to drive are affected at this point and can lead to dangerous situations.

The Dangers of Alcohol Overdose

Alcohol overdose is a life-threatening condition and should not be taken lightly. Alcohol is a depressant, meaning it reduces the function of the nervous system. When too much alcohol is consumed, the brain cannot control basic life supports such as breathing and regulating heartbeat and body temperature. This leads to unconsciousness that can cause death due to a lack of oxygen to the brain and other organs.

Response times slow dramatically during an alcohol overdose. The gag reflex becomes too slow to react, and when the person vomits, choking becomes a huge risk as this reflex does not engage properly.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning?

Not everyone who is experiencing alcohol poisoning will have the same symptoms. If the person is acting out of character to the point of concern, always keep an eye on them. Here are common signs of alcohol poisoning:

  • Confusion
  • In and out of consciousness
  • Vomiting
  • Clammy skin

Key symptoms that could mean a serious problem include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Dulled responses
  • Low body temperature

It is dangerous to leave an unconscious person alone when alcohol poisoning is suspected. Vomiting poses a choking hazard and can lead to suffocation. They can also go in and out of consciousness and try to move or leave. Their balance will be off which can increase the chance of injuries from falls.

When to Seek Medical Attention for an Alcohol Overdose

If you or someone you love is experiencing a suspected alcohol overdose, do not hesitate to seek medical attention. Permanent brain and organ damage can occur when the person is unconscious for too long.

Do not rely on old wives’ tales to try to help. Coffee and cold showers do not reduce the amount of alcohol in the person’s system and can, in fact, cause more harm. Instead, stay with them until medical professionals arrive. Turn them on their side to help with breathing and vomiting. Be honest with the medics about all substances that are in the person’s body at the time in order to ensure they get the help they need.

Different Programs for Alcoholism at SUN Behavioral Health Columbus

Alcoholism can affect your life physically and mentally. SUN Behavioral Health Columbus offers programs to help you rediscover yourself and find lasting recovery.

Alcohol Detox

Some of the symptoms that can occur during an alcohol detox are dangerous on their own. Choosing a facility like SUN Behavioral Health in Columbus to assist you during your detox means choosing an experienced, professional medical staff to ensure your safety and comfort.  Our alcohol detox program is designed to help you manage withdrawal symptoms so you can focus on your recovery. We provide:

  • Medication management for withdrawal symptoms
  • Group therapy twice a day
  • Life skills classes up to three times a day
  • Medical supervision from our supportive and friendly staff
  • A safe space to sleep, rest, and heal

This program typically lasts 3-5 days depending on the individual. Patients follow the same schedule as those attending inpatient rehab.

Inpatient Treatment

Once the detox period is over, our patients can go straight into the next step of care. Our inpatient treatment consists of daily therapy and mental health assessments to find out the root causes of alcoholism. SUN Behavioral Columbus has trained professionals that offer different therapies such as cognitive behavioral, group, and recreational. We also offer wellness programs to teach mindfulness and stress management techniques. This treatment provides 24/7 care onsite in our 144-bed facility.

Outpatient and PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program)

PHP at our facility is for those who come for the day and receive treatment, therapy, and medication management then return home for the night. Outpatient offers the same but only for a few hours a day, five days a week. Both programs are designed to build on progress made during your inpatient stay and continue the path of recovery from alcoholism.

Treatment for Alcoholism

If you or someone you love is living with alcoholism, help is not far away. At SUN Behavioral Health Columbus, we are trained professionals that treat our patients with top care, from detox to outpatient and beyond. Give us a call today at 614-706-2786 to hear what our programs can do for you.


Frequently Asked Questions

What causes alcohol poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning is caused by having so much alcohol in the bloodstream that basic brain functions begin to shut down.

What to do if you suspect someone is overdosing from alcohol?

Always seek medical attention if you suspect someone is overdosing from alcohol. Keep them on their side if they are unconscious until help arrives. Never leave them unattended.

How many days does it take to recover from an alcohol overdose?

Every person is different, but it can take up to four days to recover from an alcohol overdose. There is a chance of permanent brain damage in some cases.

Get Help Today!

  • SUN Columbus exterior
  • SUN Columbus training room
  • SUN Columbus cafeteria

SUN Behavioral Columbus

900 E Dublin Granville Rd
Columbus, OH, 43229

Hours of Operation:

Open 24 hours

google logoSUN ColumbusSUN Columbus
4.0 Stars - Based on 407 User Reviews
joint commission

Other Locations

Contact Info