What is an Alcohol Blackout?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 27 September 2019
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An alcohol blackout is a kind of memory damage that can happen when people drink too much. Someone who suffers an alcohol blackout will generally have trouble recalling anything that happened beyond a certain point during a drinking binge. An alcohol blackout is generally considered a frightening experience, and many people think it is a sign that a person in question is developing a severe alcohol problem.

While the alcohol blackout is happening, the individual may be able to interact with others, but his brain is no longer permanently storing memories about events that occur. He or she will wake up later and may not remember going to sleep. In fact, it’s relatively common for people to wake up in some place other than their own beds, with no basic recollection of how they got there. Since alcohol can cause people to behave in excessive ways, those who suffer blackouts often find that they’ve done outrageous things during their drinking binges, and having no memory of these behaviors can sometimes be disturbing for people.


According to experts, an alcohol blackout will usually only occur when someone has developed too much alcohol tolerance. This is because most people tend to pass out long before their blood alcohol level reaches a high enough point to generate a blackout. If a person is able to continue consuming alcohol beyond the point where their brain stops functioning properly, their tolerance is generally fairly high. This is only a general rule of thumb, and some people may have blackouts with much less alcohol consumption. Anybody who has suffered a head injury in their past is considered especially vulnerable.

Some experts suggest that alcohol blackouts are usually a progressive phenomenon. Once a person suffers a significant blackout, he can usually expect more to happen as time goes by. This is based on the idea that continued alcohol consumption is only likely to increase the person’s tolerance and, in turn, increase his ability to drink beyond the point where the brain malfunctions.

Due to its association with alcohol tolerance, an alcohol blackout is usually a sign that the person may be becoming dependent on alcohol. It’s also thought to be a sign that continued drinking might be dangerous. Some doctors consider an alcohol blackout to be a kind of poisoning, and the event suggests that the individual is able to drink more than can be safely tolerated by the body. If this trend continues to worsen, the person may eventually start having other severe or dangerous reactions to alcohol.


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Post 3

I used yo have a friend that could drink more than anyone I have ever known. And it was not so much that he had a high tolerance he just didn't seem to have the normal shut off mechanisms that keep most people from drinking to extreme excesses.

Basically, this guy would get blackout drunk ad then continue to drink for another three or four hours. When most people would have run out of energy he was able to go on and on. Its a skill I'm glad that I don't have

Post 2

I can say now, without any hesitation, that I am an alcoholic. But I could not always admit this. There were years and years when I was spending all my time, money and good will on drinking. I would get blackout drunk every night of the week and eventually it cost me everything.

I lost my job, my car, most of my family didn't want to have anything to do with me and I burned bridges with all of my friends. I lived to drink and for nothing more. Eventually I was able to get help and I have slowly started to put my life back together but it has not been an easy process. I guess it is better to get help late than to never get help at all.

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