According to the Mayo Clinic Definition of Alcohol Poisoning, binge drinking - downing 5 or more drinks in a row - is the primary cause of Alcohol Poisoning.
Alcohol poisoning symptoms include:
- Confusion, stupor
- 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)
- Unconsciousness ("passing out"), and can't be roused
It's not necessary for all of these symptoms to be present before you seek help. A person who is unconscious or can't be roused is at risk of dying.
Please, if you are planning to drink for New Year's please do it responsibly and be aware of others around you who might be suffering from Alcohol Poisoning and get them medical attention.
I know that many people who post about drinking responsibly are focused on the very real threat of drinking and driving, but even if you've chosen to stay home to ring in 2012 it is still important to drink responsibly and live to see the whole new year through.