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Had severe alcohol intoxication. Blood Alcohol Concentration were extremely high. Underlying cause?

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Addiction Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 1486 Questions
Hello - I was admitted to the hospital this last week for severe alcohol intoxication. I do admit I had several strong drinks but over a 4-5hr period. I'd say likely 6 total. I weigh 120lbs. What would you say would be the normal BAC for that? Curious bc mine was EXTREMELY high... and I'm thinking I may have been drugged in some way. I recall taking my 6 over the course of those hours but then I suddenly was "out" per my friends (who were with me and also can concur that's what I drank).

Can you advise? I'm worried I may have either been slipped something or have something else wrong with me to reach that level.
Posted Tue, 1 Oct 2013 in Drug Abuse
Answered by Dr. Preeti Parakh 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
Spiking is less likely.

Detailed Answer:

Welcome to Healthcare Magic!

In general, females are able to metabolize alcohol less fast than males and so, tend to get intoxicated earlier. If this was the first time that you took so many drinks then perhaps this is what must happened. Your body was not able to metabolize and excrete the alcohol, causing high blood levels. Otherwise, I would not expect six drinks over 5 hours to cause severe alcohol intoxication.

If, however, you have earlier taken similar amounts without any major problems, then I feel there are two possibilities. First is that your liver is not working as well as it used to and so, was unable to metabolize alcohol. In this case, your liver function tests, which they must have conducted when you were in the hospital, would have come as deranged. Second possibility is the one that you mentioned, that someone might have drugged you. Even then, it is unlikely that some other substance will cause high blood alcohol levels, which must have been high since you were diagnosed as severe alcohol intoxication.

Hope this answers your query. Please feel free to ask if you need any clarifications.

Best wishes.

Dr Preeti Parakh
MD Psychiatry

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