Blackouts are among the most potentially harmful outcomes of consuming alcohol, in part because of their impact on the brain, and also in part because of their tendency to dramatically increase the vulnerability of drinkers. If you asked a random assortment of college students about their feelings toward blackouts, you would receive a set of responses which points to a universal impression of fear and loathing. Recent studies have provided substantial support for the theory that certain people may be predisposed to experience alcohol-induced blackouts; it is very important, therefore, that college students be aware not only of the conditions associated with blackouts but also of their own level of susceptibility.
What are Blackouts?
Blackouts are mental states characterized by severe memory impairment (in many cases amnesia), reduced motor coordination, impaired vision, and other effects. Blackouts represent an extreme version of alcohol-induced intoxication: drinkers who experience blackouts are peculiarly vulnerable to danger and abuse because blackouts often induce ‘sleep-like’ mental states.
There is no consensus regarding the exact blood alcohol (BAC) concentration required to trigger blackouts, but the condition has been experienced by people with BACs as low as 0.14. As a general rule, blackouts are much more likely to occur when alcohol is consumed in conjunction with other substances, such as valium or marijuana. People vary widely in their level of susceptibility to experience blackouts. Several recent studies suggest that this variability may have a basis in genetics.
Researchers began to speculate that certain individuals may be inherently more likely to experience blackouts after a 1969 study on hospitalized alcoholics. In the study, 36 of the 100 patients had never suffered a blackout, despite the fact that their drinking was so intense it required hospitalization.
Several more recent studies have provided support for this supposition. For instance, a 2003 study showed that certain individuals were more likely to suffer memory impairments after consuming alcohol than others even while controlling for quantity. In the study, 108 college students were give memory tests both before and after consuming a common quantity of alcohol; the results showed that individuals with a history of blackouts performed worse than those without such a history.
Also, in 2003, researchers produced a report on a longitudinal study which began in the 1970s and examined the effects of pre-natal alcohol exposure on later behavior. The researchers found that the offspring of pregnant women who consumed alcohol during pregnancy were more likely to experience blackouts even after controlling for general drinking habits.
Finally, a 2004 concluded that there may in fact be a genetic contribution to the susceptibility to experience blackouts.
If certain people are more likely to experience blackouts because of an inherent susceptibility, it follows that college students need to be exceedingly careful regarding their drinking habits. College students may want to conduct an in-depth investigation into their own drinking history in order to determine if they may have a natural susceptibility to experience blackouts. And, even if natural susceptibility is not a viable explanation, college students still need to be supremely conscious of the realities of alcohol-induced blackouts as they pose severe, long-term health risks.
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This article was written by Karl Stockton for the team at Phentermine; check out the Phentermine website to learn more about them.