A new study conducted by Marc Schuckit at the University of California in San Diego looked into alcohol-related blackouts and who is most at risk. Consuming too much alcohol can often result in the person shutting down and blacking out. When this happens, the individual cannot remember anything during this time, however they often are able to move and talk, which makes blackouts even more dangerous. Essentially, black outs are the same as being passed out, but the person can still walk and communicate and function to a degree.
The study found that by the time teenagers were 19 years old, 90 percent of them had consumed so much alcohol that they had blacked out at least once. Half of the teenagers surveyed had blacked out on multiple occasions. The study further looked into different groups of people and who was more likely to experience a blackout. Females are most likely to black out, maybe due to a lower weight and body mass index than males. People who drink to the point of blacking out often put themselves in highly risky and dangerous situations that can include sexual conduct, accidents and fights.
There is very little information about the long-term effects that blackouts have on a person, however it cannot be ignored that they are extremely dangerous, especially to younger people. It is known that heavy alcohol abuse leads to memory loss as the person gets older and oftentimes a person will consume more alcohol than they normally would when they are in a black out. Alcohol poisoning can occur when a someone drinks way too much, which can also lead to death.
While the study was conducted on information provided by British students who tend to drink more than American students, Schuckit believes that the study should be taken very seriously. Parents, teachers and law enforcement need to be alert to any underage drinking as it can very well lead to black outs. A person who tends to black out when they drink may be exhibiting signs of an alcohol abuse problem.