I have noticed more and more young female clients, which have been arrested while experiencing an Alcohol Induced Blackouts. In each of the cases, the levels of alcohol consumption were not necessarily jumping out as the apparent cause for the blackouts. Therefore, I proceeded to look into some of the reasons why some individuals experience alcohol induced blackouts, while others do not.
According to Dr. Aaron White, Program Director for Underage and College Drinking Prevention Research at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, The way college students drink increases the odds of blackouts. Alcohol is more likely to cause a blackout when it gets into your body, and therefore your brain, fast. It catches the memory circuits off guard and shuts them down. Doing shots or chugging beer, and doing it on an empty stomach, get the alcohol into your bloodstream quickly. Dr. White also noted that females are at particular risk for blackouts, because they tend to weigh less than males and have less water in their bodies to dilute the alcohol, which leads to higher levels of alcohol in the brain. He also stated women have less of an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase in the gut that breaks down a small percentage of alcohol before it even gets into the body. Combining these finding with tendencies of females to skip meals to save calories when they drink, there is less food in the stomach to help absorb the alcohol.
Other articles I have run across have suggested people who have had six or more alcohol induced are two and one half times more likely to be injured in an alcohol related event over the next two years. Blackouts are dangerous because the individual is likely to be completely conscious, yet under the influence of a large amount of alcohol. Alcohol lowers a person’s inhibitions as it impairs their judgment. A person who is experiencing a blackout may attempt to engage in high risk activities that they ordinarily would have proper judgment not to try. More importantly, a person experiencing a blackout may not show any overt signs of a being blacked out.
Studies have shown alcohol induced blackouts usually kick in at blood alcohol levels of at least .15 percent. If you or someone you know experiences alcohol induced blackouts with any frequency, you should take steps to correct this problem before it leads to criminal activity or medical injury. In a society glorifying blackouts in their top rated pop songs, blackouts are going to be here for a while. Just make sure you or a person you know is not the next statistic.