6 Effective Ways to Prevent Blackouts When Drinking Alcohol

If you’ve ever experienced a blackout when drinking alcohol, you may already be aware of the consequences it can bring. You may wake up in an unfamiliar place, or have few, if any memories of the night before. Those who experience blackouts also frequently suffer from alcohol abuse, but knowing how to prevent this scary memory-loss condition can help you avoid making life-threatening mistakes.

Do you suffer from alcohol abuse, or suspect you might have a drinking problem and need help? Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-839-1686Who Answers? to speak with an addiction counselor who can discuss your rehab and treatment options.

If you or someone you care about frequently suffers blackouts caused by drinking, here are six ways to prevent blackouts and stay safe.

1. Sip Your Drink Slowly

Many assume blackouts are caused by consuming large amounts of alcohol, but blackouts are actually caused by consuming alcohol too rapidly within a short period of time. Consuming alcohol too quickly causes your blood alcohol level to also rise quickly. As a result, a large amount of alcohol is delivered to the brain at a relatively fast pace.

This process disrupts the natural balance of brain chemicals that control memories. During a blackout, the brain is unable to transition short-term memories into long-term memories, which makes you forget what happened later on when you’re sober. Sip your drink slowly to avoid a blackout, and encourage your friends to do the same.

2. Avoid Doing Shots

Prevent Blackouts When Drinking

Eat a meal before you start drinking.

Shots of spirits such as vodka and tequila are high in alcohol content, and can quickly lead to intoxication. Stay away from shots, and stick to drinking beverages with lower alcohol content that take longer to consume, such as beer, wine, and mixed drinks.

3. Say No to Drinking Games

Drinking games can be fun, but also highly dangerous if you don’t take the right precautions. Most drinking games encourage rapid consumption of alcohol, which increases your risk for a blackout. Avoid participating in drinking games, or consider watching for the sake of keeping an eye on friends who may be at risk for blackouts.

4. Get Plenty of Sleep

Avoid drinking alcohol if you’re feeling tired, fatigued, or lack sleep from the night before. Lack of sleep puts physical stress on your body, and makes it more susceptible to the effects of alcohol. Don’t consume too much alcohol when lacking sleep, since the amount you normally drink could cause a blackout.

5. Eat Before and During Drinking

Consuming alcohol on an empty stomach greatly increases your risk for blacking out since the alcohol can quickly enter your bloodstream and affect the brain. Eat a healthy meal before drinking, and continue to snack on healthy foods throughout the night as you drink to help slow down your body’s alcohol absorption rate.

6. Avoid Mixing Alcohol and Drugs

Mixing alcohol and drugs can be fatal, regardless of whether the drugs are prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines, or illicit drugs purchased from the street. Certain medications and drugs can interfere with alcohol in a way that increases the risk for blackouts in addition to alcohol poisoning and drug overdose.

If you’re taking drugs of any kind, avoid drinking alcohol, or consult with your doctor to verify you can safely drink alcohol when taking your medication. Communicating with your doctor can help save your life, and prevent you from experiencing overdose, coma, or death.

If you frequently experience blackouts when drinking and think you might have a problem, understand you don’t have to feel ashamed and that help is nearby. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-839-1686Who Answers? to learn more about rehab centers that can help you safely and comfortably overcome substance abuse and addiction.

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