FROM: Options@Cal U RE: Blacking Out...
Sent: 10/21/2013 10:45:16 AM To: Students, Faculty, Staff
It's National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week
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Blacking Out vs. Passing Out
Students will often use the terms “blacking out” and “passing out” interchangeably. However, the terms have two separate and distinct meanings. Both are dangerous states for a student to be in, and signal the need to assess personal choices regarding alcohol. Blacking out happens when a person consumes alcohol too fast, spiking the BAC level very rapidly. The high BAC will sedate the memory centers of the brain. This person will not be able to recall specific periods of events over the night, or even entire events from the latter part of their night. However, this person will maintain consciousness and will continue to walk, talk and interact with others around them. Passing out occurs when there are even higher amounts of alcohol consumed. At this high level of BAC, the vital functions of the brain are sedated and a person may lose consciousness from a reduced ability to process oxygen. This is a significant sign of alcohol poisoning (a potentially deadly overdose of alcohol). It is important to stay with your friends and know when to call for help. Remember, alcohol affects individuals differently. It is important to monitor how many standard drinks you or a friend has had and to never drive or be a passenger with a person who is under the influence of alcohol.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning
Unconsciousness or semi-consciousness
Slow breathing-8 breaths or less a minute or breathing that stops for more than 8 seconds at a time
Cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin
Does not respond to being talked to or even shouted at
Cannot stand up
Rapid pulse rate
People who have overdosed can't help themselves, so it's up to you to get them help.
Your friend's life may depend on it.
Blood alcohol content continues to rise even after a person stops drinking.