Passing out from drinking alcohol vs. blacking out:
This question seems to be the topic of some confusion lately.
Q: Are passing out from drinking alcohol and blacking out
the same thing?
Both of these terms are often associated with alcohol use. Elsewhere in this book (Why Don’t They Just Quit? Hope for families struggling with addiction), we speak of alcohol as being a sedative/hypnotic drug.
Passing out from drinking too much alcohol is definitely a sign of being sedated and/or drunk. Passing out is what is referred to when a person becomes unconscious, similar to going to sleep.
Blacking out is completely different from passing out. In fact, the word hypnotic (as in sedative/hypnotic) is one way to think about blackouts from alcohol. For instance, someone who has been hypnotized can appear to function normally; they can follow commands, and so on. When the hypnotic state is over, they often can’t remember what they have done.
A blackout is like a temporary form of amnesia. Alcohol can and does affect our memory. Short-term memory loss is what happens after a person has experienced a blackout. The user may not have to be very drunk for this to happen. They will appear to be functioning normally—carrying on a conversation, driving a car, playing a game, watching a movie, or even having sex—yet not remember the events the following day.
This condition will also worsen over time; blackouts will start happening more often and the person will remember less. Blackouts from alcohol happen to many, but not all drinkers. Others may reach a point where it happens every time they drink—even after the first drink of the evening. Some drugs can create this experience as well.
~Joe Herzanek/Author, Why Don’t They Just Quit? Hope for families struggling with addiction.
This “Q & A with Joe” is excerpted from
Part 5 of the updated edition:
“Why Don’t They Just Quit?
Hope for families struggling with addiction.”
(click above to purchase)
MORE ASK JOE:
> Do you have to stop seeing all your old friends in to recover?
> Is a relapse—failure?
>Should my husband “back off?”
> If someone can stop using drugs or alcohol for weeks at a time, they “aren’t an addict—correct?
>Chronic Pain Management & Pain Pill Addiction: What to do?
>How can I know if my addicted friend or loved one is telling the truth?
>How can I tell if someone is an addict/alcoholic or just a heavy user?
>What is Methadone? What is Harm Reduction?
> Phone Counseling for Family Members
> Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory
> Drug Addiction & Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families & Employers
If you found this article helpful:
please see our “Ask Joe” posts listed above and consider reading:
“Why Don’t they Just Quit? Hope for families struggling with addiction.”
> Our website, “Why Don’t They Just Quit?”
> Changing Lives Amazon Storefront (buy new, from us for much less)
Recent Amazon.com reviews:
Best book ever about addiction. Written by one whose done it and is recovering. Easy to read, not preachy, just honest. I recommend this book to anyone with an addict in their life! ~Lynda A
Got an addiction problem in your family? Read this book. Joe knows his stuff. This book helps you better understand those dealing with friends and family that are addicted to drugs and alcohol. I have read several of these books but this one is the best. ~RJ
I, like many people, have some knowledge of what drugs and addiction are, but are clueless on what the process of recovery entails. This book does a great job in what it would take to help a loved one, who is an addict and is willing to get clean and stay clean. It also gives one hope that your loved one will survive the nightmare they are living through with their family. ~CG
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> Self-Tests: Codependence
> Self-Tests: Alcohol and Drug Addiction
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the same thing?” to Changing Lives Foundation Blog Home