Blacking out or having a seizure while misusing a substance often occurs when someone is binging on alcohol or drugs. Blackouts due to substance abuse can result in passing out, having seizures or even having a gap in memory. Psychogenic blackouts should not be confused with syncope, another form of blackout. Syncope is a temporary loss of consciousness when blood flow to the brain is insufficient. Short-term effects of alcohol abuse — such as coordination problems, slurred speech and blurry vision — fade when alcohol is metabolized, which can take hours or days.
That’s because memories are unstable and vulnerable to change early after an event. Once those memories get locked in, even if they contain inaccurate details, they will remain that way. Over time, motivated forgetting may begin to erode the memory — causing someone to lose chunks of it. Anderson’s lab has found this process can happen in the early days after a memory’s birth. It is controlled by some of the same brain areas involved in stopping physical actions — like when your hand reaches for a hot stove and you pull away at the last moment.
Many people who have experienced trauma struggle to sleep, and they may turn to alcohol or drugs in order to calm their minds. However, this approach can result in issues with substance use disorder. You can’t force another person to stop drinking or using drugs. Going to Al-Anon meetings is a good way to support a friend or a family member of someone who has problems with alcohol or drugs; it can also promote change. You can also join with other family or friends to tell your loved one about your concerns. Family members can learn how to talk to and respond to their loved one in ways that reward being sober but don’t enable drinking-related behavior.
Our community offers unique perspectives on lifelong recovery and substance use prevention, empowering others through stories of strength and courage. From people in active recovery to advocates who have lost loved ones to the devastating disease of addiction, our community understands the struggle and provides guidance born of personal experience. You will also find information on spotting the signs and symptoms of substance use and hotlines for immediate assistance.
Alcohol and mood
Chris has a master’s degree in strategic communication and a graduate certificate in health communication. Alcohol poisoning and death from alcohol overdose are direct ptsd alcohol blackout consequences of drinking too much alcohol. When enough attention is given to information, or the information is rehearsed, it is transferred into long-term memory.
How can you tell if someone is blackout drunk?
SHORT TERM MEMORY TEST
If you have been with the person all night while drinking, ask them about something that just happened or something that was just said 5 minutes ago. A person in a blackout will not remember something that happened a few minutes ago.