When you seek women’s alcohol addiction treatment, you gain access to a wide range of gender-specific health benefits. Many of these benefits center on the relief of your alcoholism symptoms. However, effective treatment can also protect you from other forms of drinking-related harm. One such harm is consuming enough alcohol to experience a blackout. For biological reasons, women are more susceptible to blackouts than men. In turn, you’re more likely to experience the consequences of this alcohol-related danger.
What Does Blacking Out from Alcohol Mean?
What triggers a blackout while drinking alcohol? As a rule, problems arise when you drink enough to become heavily intoxicated. The exact blood alcohol level of people who black out can vary. However, the typical affected person’s blood levels are fully 100% higher than the minimum standard for legal drunkenness.
When this much alcohol is in your system, it alters the function of a brain area called the hippocampus. This area helps you take experiences that you’ve just had and turn them into lasting memories. Extreme drunkenness stops your hippocampus from functioning as it should. In consequence, gaps in your memory start to appear.
All such memory gaps are forms of amnesia. Some people experience partial amnesia when later trying to recall what happened during an alcohol blackout. Others lose all memories of what happened.
Types of Alcohol Blackout Behavior
You might not remember what you did while blacking out from alcohol. But rest assured that you did something. That’s true because people who experience blackouts remain conscious. In addition, they may engage in a wide range of behaviors while in their highly altered state. Common examples of alcohol blackout behavior include:
- Talking to other people
- Driving a vehicle
- Buying things
- Taking part in unprotected sex or other kinds of risky actions
The people around you may not have any idea that you’re in the middle of a blackout.
Women’s Blackout Risks
As a woman, your body processes alcohol in ways that differ from men. These differences are related, in part, to women’s typically lower body weight. They’re also associated with the relative lack of water present in women’s bodies. Together, these factors make women more susceptible to rapid increases in their blood alcohol levels when drinking. In turn, rapid spikes in these levels make alcohol blackouts more likely to occur.
Short- and Long-Term Effects of Blacking Out
Higher blackout risks also increase women’s risks for blackout-related harm. Short-term examples of these kinds of harm include:
- Alcohol poisoning
- Involvement in serious accidents
- Heightened odds of being sexually assaulted or otherwise attacked
- Increased chances of acting violently and/or assaulting someone
There are also potential long-term effects of blacking out. One possible consequence is developing alcohol use disorder. This disorder includes alcoholism, once viewed as a standalone condition. It also includes non-addicted alcohol abuse that causes serious life impairment.
Repeated alcohol consumption at levels that lead to a blackout may also increase your risks for certain long-term health problems. Such problems include liver disease, heart disease, and immune dysfunction. They also include anxiety disorders and depression.
Learn More About Women’s Risks for Blacking Out from Alcohol at Women’s Recovery
Have more questions about the dangers of alcohol blackouts for women? The caring professionals at Women’s Recovery can answer them. We can also help you assess your risks for other kinds of alcohol-related harm.
Need help with the symptoms of alcohol use disorder? At Women’s Recovery, we feature customized programs tailored to the needs of women in treatment. Call us today at 833.754.0554 or reach out online to learn more about how we can help you. You can also make contact via our brief online form.