While alcoholism may be detected by others, the alcoholic who suffers from blackouts is missing the signs of alcoholism. In fact, she may miss some of her memory too.
Signs of Alcoholism
Signs of alcoholism or Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) are often not seen as a problem. If someone shows any of the following symptoms, help may be needed to convince her drinking is a serious problem and she needs help.
- The person cannot stop drinking once started.
- Says she wants to stop drinking or limit the number of drinks but cannot do so.
- Talks about drinking or wanting to drink often.
- Spends excessive amounts of time drinking, getting alcohol, or recovering from drinking.
- Experiences strong urges to drink.
- Unable to meet obligations due to drinking.
- Unable to stop drinking despite the problems caused.
- Is not as active. Missing work or social activities.
- Drinking when inappropriate. Drinking and driving, etc.
- Needs to drink more alcohol to get the same effects as a few drinks.
- Needs to drink to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
- Has a history of blackout after drinking excessive alcohol.
What is a Blackout?
A blackout is a serious symptom of alcoholism. Blackouts occur when enough alcohol is consumed to cause short-term and long-term memory to be impaired. This causes a loss of memory. The alcoholic will not remember things said or done during the blackout. Two signs of blackout are repeating oneself and a glazed over look in the eyes.
There are two types of blackout, en bloc and fragmentary.
En Bloc: When a person experiences en block blackouts, he or she cannot later remember anything during the blackout period. But during the blackout period, he or she can recall anything that happened within the last two minutes. So, he or she seems normal and can carry on a conversation. En bloc can end if the person stops drinking. More often, the alcoholic will pass out before noticing his or her surroundings.
Fragmentary bloc: Fragmentary bloc is also referred to as brownouts. The alcoholic can recall events during the drinking spree, but does not realize other memories are missing until reminded. Gaps in memory are more common than en bloc blackouts.
Blackouts happen when a high blood alcohol ratio is reached rapidly. En bloc blackouts happen near.30% blood alcohol. While fragmentary blackouts happen near.20%.
What Can Happen During a Blackout?
A person who is experiencing a blackout will seem to be normal. He or she will carry on a conversation, engage in activities, and even complete difficult tasks. Alcoholics report not knowing how they arrived home, yet the car is in the driveway, showing he or she drove home. One study in Ohio showed of 545 individuals surveyed, 161 or 29.5% reported driving drunk during a blackout.
Drunk driving isn’t the only harmful activity engaged in during a blackout. Participants in that study also reported the following transgressions:
Getting Your Life Back
Alcohol induced blackouts can feel like your life is not your own. You can get your life back through intervention and treatment. If you or a loved one shows signs of alcoholism, Northlake Recovery can help. Call (561)-770-6616 for a free and confidential consultation.