What is a Blackout From Alcohol?

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The term “blackout” from alcohol has colloquially come to mean so many things. But clinically, it means only one thing. Even so, experts at centers such as Alcohol Treatment Denver-based will say that blacking out from alcohol does not an alcoholic make, if the experiences are rare and very far between.

A blackout occurs when a person drinks so much that they experience impaired memory about what happened the night or the day before. It does not always mean unconsciousness, but it often does. It does happen to alcoholics, but blacking out doesn’t mean someone is an alcoholic. Some experts say that the chances of blacking out with a blood alcohol content of 0.22 are 50 percent. And, 50 percent of the drinking population is not an alcoholic. Learn more about what a blackout is here.

What is a Blackout?

A blackout occurs when someone drinks so much that they don’t know what they are doing anymore. This is a dangerous time for them if they are still conscious, which happens a lot.

What happens here is that a person drinks so much that their brain does not move any of their current experiences into working memory after a certain point. So when they wake up, or sober up, they literally do not remember what happened to them, or those around them.

They may wake up fully clothed, or clothed in something else, and not have any consciousness that they did that themselves. When they wake up or sober up, working memory begins to function properly again. Blackouts are notoriously dangerous experiences, for those that have them and for those around them.

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Are Blackouts a Sign of Alcoholism or Alcohol Use Disorder?

Blackouts are not always a sign of alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism, but they can be if they happen a lot. Some brains are more susceptible to blackouts during drinking than others are. Some people are just more prone to them, but it still requires heavy drinking to reach the blackout point.

Having a blackout on rare occasion means that the individual drank more than their body could function on. If blackouts happen too much, that is a result of drinking too much. That is an alcohol problem.

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If you or someone you love experiences blackouts as a result of drinking, consider how often this happens. If it has happened a lot in your opinion, it may be time for you to help them seek help. Experts at alcohol treatment Denver-based locations or elsewhere know that blackouts may not mean alcohol use disorder, but frequent blackouts could. Life is worth remembering. Book an appointment to begin the path to healing today.

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