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Friday, May 26, 2017

What You Should Know About Blackouts

Blacking out from drinking continues to be a big problem among young adults, especially on college campuses. Here, we take a look at some basic info on blackouts, so you and your loved ones can prevent this dangerous yet often misunderstood alcohol-induced impairment.

What Is a Blackout?
There are two types of blackouts, according to experts: en bloc, or complete blackout when you can’t recall any events during the time spent drinking and fragmentary-memory loss when you can only recall a portion of the events during the drinking period of time.  

Blacking out is not the same as “passing out,” or loss of consciousness due to excessive drinking. Perhaps the scariest (and trickiest) part about blacking out —whether it happens to you or someone you love — is that you’re conscious and awake so others may think you’re aware of what you’re doing and don’t need any help.  

What Causes a Blackout?
A blackout is caused when alcohol quickly enters the brain and disrupts the neurotransmitters of the brain. You don't necessary need to consume large amounts of alcohol to blackout; it’s more about rapid consumption that results in a rapid rise in blood alcohol concentration. The following factors increase your risk of a blackout: 
  • How alcohol is ingested (for example, binge drinking or drinking on an empty stomach)
  • Gender: women are at greater risk than men of experiencing a blackout even with lower levels of alcohol consumption. 
  • Genetic susceptibility
Why Is a Blackout Dangerous?
A single blackout is not necessarily a sign of alcoholism, yet repeated blackouts have been linked to alcohol use disorder. What’s more, blackouts can lead to potentially dangerous behaviors and events, including: 
  • Unprotected, forced, or unwanted sex
  • Driving under the influence
  • Vandalism
  • Losing track of your belongings
  • Saying things you don’t mean (or will regret saying later)
Getting Help for Alcohol Abuse
According to the NIAAA, the young adult subgroup makes up 31.5 percent of alcoholics. At Hope Academy, we provide a safe environment in which teens and young adults feel comfortable sharing their concerns and setting sobriety goals. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.

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