Binge drinking at a rapid rate can be toxic for your health

Men drinking beer at a Shebeen in Orange Grove.
Men drinking beer at a Shebeen in Orange Grove.
Image: MARIANNE SCHWANKHART/The Times

Physician Dr Seipati Mokgabo says that although there are many causes of alcohol poisoning, the main one is binge drinking.

"Consuming a lot of alcohol at a rapid rate definitely puts one at risk. Alcohol is absorbed very quickly by the body, and it takes a while to get rid of the alcohol, which means that even if one stops drinking, they can still be at risk of alcohol poisoning."

Mokgabo says alcohol poisoning has been known to be fatal, as the victim can choke on their own vomit and could, as a result, even slip into a coma.

"Alcohol severely affects a person's gag reflexes, breathing and heart rate. As a result, they may choke and not be able to breathe, and if not assisted medically, it can have fatal consequences."

Mokgabo cautions against letting someone "sleep off" the alcohol effects.

"Most people tend to joke about someone being blacked out and see it as a sign of what a great time they had. But if someone is unresponsive after binge drinking, it is imperative to seek urgent medical assistance to rather be safe than sorry."

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