What is Alcohol Poisoning?
Alcohol poisoning results from drinking too much ethanol in the form of alcoholic beverages. The effects of ethanol on your system depend on the concentration of alcohol in your blood (blood alcohol concentration, or BAC).
Normally, your body can eliminate the alcohol from a 12-ounce can of beer in about one hour (or 1¼ oz. of 80-proof liquor, or 4 oz. of wine).
If your body absorbs more alcohol than it can eliminate in a period of time, your blood alcohol concentration rises and continues to rise even after you've stopped drinking. Even if you have passed out it, your BAC still elevates because the alcohol in your stomach continues to enter your bloodstream.
Alcohol consumed too fast or too much causes this spike in BAC, which can often be lethal. The alcohol reaches your brain stem and nervous system which can result in life-threatening problems. The centers controlling your breathing and your blood circulation become suppressed, which can cause death.
This only furthers the importance for calling 911 if you even suspect someone has overdosed from drinking too much too fast or you notice signs of alcohol poisoning.
Better safe than... dead.
Information adapted from The Gordie Foundation website)