Indeed Filipinos love celebrations and almost in every celebration, alcoholic drinks are always present. According to the 2003 World Health Survey, the mean value (in grams) of pure alcohol consumed per day among drinkers was 4.8 (total), 6.1 (males) and 2.0 (females). A study by Martha Jean Sanchez illustrates that the prevalence of alcoholism across the Philippines in 2016, by gender and type, around 8.8 percent of males and 1.8 percent of females in the Philippines had alcohol use disorders. So, what is alcohol poisoning?
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. According to Medical News Today, a person has alcohol poisoning if he/she consumed a toxic amount of alcohol, usually over a short period. This results in blood alcohol levels so high it is considered toxic (poisonous).
Mayo Clinic also states that a person with alcohol poisoning needs immediate medical attention. If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, call for emergency medical help right away. Alcohol poisoning signs and symptoms include; Confusion, vomiting, seizures, slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute), irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths), blue-tinged skin or pale skin, low body temperature (hypothermia) and passing out (unconsciousness) and can't be awakened
Alcohol in the form of ethanol (ethyl alcohol) is found in alcoholic beverages, mouthwash, cooking extracts, some medications and certain household products. Ethyl alcohol poisoning generally results from drinking too many alcoholic beverages, especially in a short period of time.
A major cause of alcohol poisoning is binge drinking — a pattern of heavy drinking when a male rapidly consumes five or more alcoholic drinks within two hours, or a female rapidly consumes at least four drinks within two hours. An alcohol binge can occur over hours or last up to several days.
Unlike food, which can take hours to digest, alcohol is absorbed quickly by your body — long before most other nutrients. It takes a lot more time for your body to get rid of the alcohol you've consumed. Most alcohol is processed (metabolized) by your liver. The more you drink, especially in a short period of time, the greater your risk of alcohol poisoning.
A number of factors can increase your risk of alcohol poisoning, including: your size, weight, overall health, combining alcohol with other drugs, percentage of alcohol in your drinks and your tolerance level. Choking, asphyxiation, severe dehydrations, seizures, hypothermia and worse, death are some of the severe complications that can result from alcohol poisoning.
Based on the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos: a prescription to good nutrition, Filipinos must limit alcohol drinking to one drink per day for women and two drinks for men is also advised. One alcoholic drink is equivalent to one and half ounce distilled beverages such as gin or 12 ounces or a bottle of beer or four ounces wine or half glass wine or an ounce of 100 proof whiskey.
One can avoid drinking too much by taking some time to explore your relationship with alcohol and figuring out how much you actually drink. Next is consider your approach. What’s most important is taking a look at your drinking habits and finding a way to cut back that works for you. Lastly, talk about it. Letting others know about your choice to stop drinking may help motivate you to stick with your decision.
We can still enjoy celebrations and make memories with or without alcohol. We can still consume alcoholic drinks as long as we stay on the limits. So before requesting for another glass, always remember to drink moderately and think of the ill-effects it may happen to you.
PNC-ZDS Marie Claire A. Gaas
1. Prevalence of alcoholism in the Philippines 2016 by gender and type by Martha Jean Sanchez, Dec 11, 2020
2. Alcoholic drinkers in the Philippines
3. Alcohol Poisoning: Definition, causes, risk factors and complications
4. Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos: a prescription to good nutrition
5. How to avoid consuming alcohol