Alcohol poisoning is a serious — and sometimes deadly — consequence of drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. Drinking too much too quickly can affect your breathing, heart rate, body temperature and gag reflex and potentially lead to a coma and death.

Alcohol poisoning can also occur when adults or children accidentally or intentionally drink household products that contain alcohol.

A person with alcohol poisoning needs immediate medical attention. If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, call for emergency medical help right away.

July 21, 2016
  1. Overview of alcohol consumption. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  2. Alcohol overdose: The dangers of drinking too much. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AlcoholOverdoseFactsheet/Overdosefact.htm. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  3. A word about alcohol poisoning. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-poisoning. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  4. Alcohol poisoning deaths. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/alcohol-poisoning-deaths/. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  5. Drinking too much too fast can kill you. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. https://www.ncadd.org/images/stories/PDF/DrinkingTooMuchTooFastCanKillYou-NCADD.pdf. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  6. Alcohol. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices/alcohol.html. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  7. Cowan E, et al. Ethanol intoxication in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  8. Baum CR. Ethanol intoxication in children: Epidemiology, estimation of toxicity, and toxic effects. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  9. Alcohol toxicity and withdrawal. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/special-subjects/recreational-drugs-and-intoxicants/alcohol-toxicity-and-withdrawal. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  10. Sivilotti MLA. Isopropyl alcohol poisoning. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  11. Sivilotti MLA, et al. Methanol and ethylene glycol poisoning. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  12. Risk and protective factors. Youth.gov. http://youth.gov/youth-topics/substance-abuse/risk-and-protective-factors-substance-use-abuse-and-dependence. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  13. Alcohol use in older people. National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/alcohol-use-older-people. Accessed June 21, 2016.