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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Alcohol Blackout

02/23/2010

Question:

as a major in psychology with more than one episode of alcohol related blackout. would they know better than to not drink and how many drinks it would take for a blackout.

Answer:

I am not sure I totally understand your question. It sounds as if you are asking about another person whose major is psychology, and who has had repeated episodes of alcohol-related blackouts.

As for the first part of your question, would he know better than to not drink, my answer is "not necessarily." Alcoholism and other drug dependencies affect people from all walks of life and all levels of education. Knowledge is not protective when it comes to these illnesses.

As for the second part of your question, how many drinks does it take for a blackout to occur, my answer is "it depends." Some individuals are genetically prone to having blackouts, while others can drink heavily and never experience a blackout. As a rule, men who drink more than five drinks on a single occasion and women who drink more than four drinks on a single occasion are at higher risk for all alcohol-related consequences, including blackouts.

Some researchers believe that how quickly a person's blood alcohol increases determines whether they will experience a blackout.

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Response by:

Christina M Delos Reyes, MD Christina M Delos Reyes, MD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University