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.