By , On 22nd February 2024 Comments Off on Blackouts

Having a blackout is different from when you pass out, and comes with different risks. Passing out means you’re fully unconscious, but blackouts mean that you are fully conscious the entire time, but unable to retain anything that happens. They are often caused by drinking too much alcohol at too quick of a rate.

When you are experiencing a blackout, you are still able to function the same way you normally would, apart from being drunk. Neither you nor anyone else has any way of knowing that you are experiencing one. During these situations, you may be less aware of your surroundings, and are at a higher risk of dangerous situations.

Types of blackouts

There are two different types of blackouts that people experience. These are called en block and fragmentary blackouts.

En blocks, also known as complete blackouts, are when you retain little to no information at all for large pieces of time. As far as your brain id concerned, it’s as if the whole thing didn’t happen at all.

Fragmentary, also known as partial blackouts, are when you can remember small bits and pieces of information from the time period. This is usually after being reminded by someone else who was there.

What causes blackouts?

Blackouts happen after getting too drunk. Drinking alcohol disrupts the hippocampus, which is the centre of the brain that stores and organises all of your memories. As a consequence of having too much alcohol, the hippocampus can no longer function and you can’t create or store any more new memories. The hippocampus can begin to be affected after even only one or two drinks.

Reducing your risk

There are a few ways that you could reduce your risk against having a blackout. First of all, don’t consume your drinks too fast, and pace yourself. Try to alternate having an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink. Drinking after eating instead of on an empty stomach can also help against blackouts. Having food reduces the rate at which you become drunk – and is better for your liver. Adhere to the weekly alcohol guidelines. Try to drink in environments where you feel safe, and make sure that you have reliable transport back home

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