Alcohol poisoning

Consuming alcohol is something done by millions of people every day. While alcohol consumption in moderation is ok, it’s important to know the difference between a moderate amount of alcohol and when a person risks alcohol poisoning. If a person is on the verge of alcohol poisoning, it can have very serious and deadly consequences; you should head to your local Ascent Emergency Room in Houston immediately.

To help you understand why alcohol is so dangerous, it helps to know the facts about alcohol intoxication and the difference between general intoxication and acute alcohol intoxication. There are stages to alcohol poisoning; the sooner a person is treated, the better their chances of a proper recovery.

The Stages of Alcohol Poisoning

Here is a breakdown of the four stages of alcohol poisoning so that patients know when it is time to seek emergency care at our Ascent Emergency Room in Houston, TX.

Loss of Balance/Coordination

This is the first stage of alcohol poisoning. Even before a person becomes fully drunk, they will experience a loss of balance and coordination. Even after just a couple of drinks, this effect begins.

As a person continues to drink, this effect continues to worsen. Most people consider this when they talk about a person being “drunk.” This is the beginning of the process of alcohol poisoning. At this point, the effects are not life-threatening, but a loss of balance and coordination does increase the risk of an accident or injury.

Alcohol poisoning is typically based on blood alcohol level, the amount of alcohol in the blood at any given time. Loss of balance and coordination begins around .09 to .25 blood alcohol level.

Confusion/Memory Loss

Alcohol poisoning symptoms become more apparent at this stage of the process. Once a person’s blood alcohol percentage goes beyond roughly .18 to around .30, they begin to experience mental confusion and memory loss. Liquor poisoning is much more serious at this stage, and blood alcohol levels become dangerous.

This is the point where many people experience blackouts and do not remember when they have so much alcohol in their system.

Total Loss of Control/Erratic Behavior

Once blood alcohol content exceeds .25, treatment is almost certainly necessary, and getting to your local Ascent Emergency Room should be a priority.

At this point, a person experiences total loss of inhibition and most bodily control. This increases the risk of injury and the likelihood of severe symptoms, including vomiting, dehydration, muscle spasms, and even seizures. Above .30 blood alcohol increases the risk of heart problems, breathing difficulty, and even coma.


The final stage of acute alcohol intoxication is the most dangerous. Once a person nears a .50 blood alcohol level, their body begins to shut down and experience severe and chronic symptoms. Once this starts, death is a more likely outcome.

Are you looking for an emergency room in Houston, TX? At Ascent Emergency Room, we care about your health and their emergency needs. We are located just a little away from you and provide exceptional and comprehensive emergency care appointments for the surrounding Houston area:

  • (Southampton) University Place
  • Rice Village
  • Bellaire
  • Old Braeswood
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  • Brookhaven
  • Southside
  • Riverside Terrace
  • Greater Third Ward
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