There are many reasons why a person may blackout, including the use of drugs and alcohol at high levels. If you are experiencing losses of time for any reason, it is critical that you work to determine what may be happening to you. Let’s discuss why people blackout, and what it can mean for you.
What Is a Blackout?
A blackout occurs when a person experiences periods of time where they have difficulty walking, talking and standing. They have no ability to use good judgment. They also have difficulty with vision. In some situations, a person may also pass out, and don’t have any memory of what occurred during that time.
Blackouts can also lower a person’s inhibition and limit good decision-making. It may also hinder impulse control. All of this happens as a result of the brain being unable to function normally due to excessively high amounts of alcohol in the system. So, why do people blackout?
What Causes You to Blackout?
For many people, alcohol consumption is the underlying cause of blackouts. What causes you to blackout, though?
Generally, blackouts take place when the body’s alcohol level is very high. When this happens, the brain is unable to act normally due to the high amount of alcohol present. Keep in mind that blackouts do not erase a person’s memories or the ability to create memories. Rather, it just makes it hard to remember what is occurring during that time.
Blackouts are most likely to occur when a person’s blood alcohol content reaches 0.22 percent or higher, and sometimes it may occur at a lower rate.
When a person consumes alcohol, the alcohol itself is a toxin. The kidneys work hard to try to filter out the alcohol present in the bloodstream. Sometimes it cannot remove enough of the toxins, and the alcohol continues to circulate in the bloodstream. As it does that, the alcohol reaches the brain and interferes with the brain’s ability to communicate and function normally. As a result, the neurotransmitters and other components of the brain stop operating properly.
But why do people black out like this? Blackouts do not happen after a certain number of drinks. Rather, they occur when blood alcohol concentration in the bloodstream gets to a very high level. That happens at a different rate for most people. Things like your gender, weight, and how fast you consumed the alcohol, along with the type of alcohol consumed, all play a role in when this happens.
Are there long-term effects of blacking out?
Generally speaking, the biggest risk of blacking out occurs in those moments when you cannot make good decisions for yourself. Many people have a reduced sense of inhibition and may be more likely to engage in reckless behavior.
The brain can be negatively impacted by blackouts, especially when they happen often. This specifically can cause damage to the frontal lobe of the brain, which is directly linked to your personality and behavior. It may make it hard for you to maintain memories, create memories, and make wise decisions. Cognitive function decline may occur as well.
How to Avoid Blacking Out?
You can learn how to avoid blacking out in one way. You need to reduce the amount of alcohol you are consuming to reduce how high your blood alcohol level gets. That may mean not drinking as much, drinking less in a shorter period of time, and drinking alcohol that has a lower alcohol level within it.
It’s also important to recognize when you have a problem. The long term effects of blacking out are very real. More so, it is not always possible to learn how to avoid blacking out – even if you reduce what you are consuming, you may still black out, putting you at risk. For these reasons, it is often best to seek out treatment for substance use disorder.
Get Help Today for Substance Use Disorder
If you’re frequently blacking out or struggling to control your alcohol consumption, you may be dealing with an active addiction. Reach out to our admission counselors at (866) 971-5531 to learn more about getting the help you need.