Blackout Drunk: Definition

By  //  November 16, 2021

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Drinking alcohol is for some people a normal part of life. It happens sometimes randomly, sometimes in gatherings and it isn’t illegal if the drunk person doesn’t drive. Drunken people may harm themselves or others when they’re under the influence, so it’s important that they’re accompanied by sober people.

Blackout drunk happens when the person, after an episode of binge drinking, completely blacks out and wakes up with distorted memory and other health issues.

Blackout Drunk: Definition

According to Balance Mallorca Memory loss as a result of alcohol or drug misuse is referred to as a “blackout.” It is most common with drinking too much alcohol. Binge drinking is related to blacking out from drinking; the condition is commonly triggered when a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) reaches 0.15.

Binge drinking is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as a pattern of drinking alcohol that results in a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater. It is when a person consumes a considerable amount of alcohol in a single sitting.

Alcohol-induced blackouts can result in a loss of memory for events that occurred while inebriated, as well as a significantly increased risk of injuries and other damages. They can affect anyone who consumes alcohol, regardless of their age or drinking history.

Blackout Drunk: Types

Alcohol-related blackouts are memory lapses for events that occurred when the person was inebriated. When a person consumes enough alcohol, the hippocampus in the brain momentarily blocks the transfer of memories from short-term to long-term storage, a process known as memory consolidation.

Since it affects memory greatly, there are two types and they’re related to the severity of memory loss.

Fragmentary Blackout

This type is characterized by sporadic recollections of events, with “islands” of recollections separated by gaps in time. The term “grayout” or “brownout” is used to describe this form of blackout.

Complete Amnesia

As the name suggests, this type deals with complete memory loss of events. An “en bloc” blackout is complete amnesia that lasts several hours. Memories of events do not form in this severe form of a blackout, and they are usually lost forever. It’s as if the incidents never happened at all. 

Blackout and Passing out

A blackout is not the same as “passing out,” which refers to falling asleep or losing consciousness as a result of excessive alcohol consumption. 

A person is still aware during a blackout, but their brain isn’t making new memories. It is possible to go from having a blackout to passing out, depending on how much the person drank.

Blackout Drunk: Causes

Since blacking out happens after a period of binge drinking, it is important to see why drinking excessively happens in the first place. It can be caused by a lot of reasons. Stress, struggles, hardships, and even anxiety push people to find an outlet. It comes in the form of drinks that intoxicate the mind and give an escape for a few hours.

A blackout can also be caused by the following factors: 

epileptic seizures


blood pressure that is too low 

Psychogenic seizures

a low sugar level 

some pharmaceuticals

Blackout Drunk: Effects

Blackout drinking can be very dangerous and poses health risks. The short-term effects and long-term ones are listed below.

Short-Term Effects

Short-term effects of being blackout drunk.

Short-term effects deal with what happens in the short run. Some effects include:

Mental health problems such as depression

Physical injuries

Trauma from personal encounters 


Financial troubles

Vomiting and nausea


Long-Term Effects

Long-term effects deal with what happens later on if blackout drinking persists.

They include but are not limited to:

General memory loss


Low immunity

Liver issues


Mental health problems

Chronic diseases

Blackout Drunk: Who?

If you’re wondering who’s more prone to having blackout episodes more, read on.

According to most reports, middle-aged men who are alcoholics are more likely to black out. However, everyone who consumes a substantial amount of alcohol is at risk of blacking out. 

College-aged students are likewise regarded to be at risk. Researchers believe that this risk is linked to the strong drinking habits that many college students have. 

Women, while having the same genes as men, may be at a higher risk of blackouts. College-aged students are likewise regarded to be at risk. Researchers believe that this risk is linked to the strong drinking habits that many college students have.

Blackout Drunk: Alcohol Issues

Although blackouts are not always indicative of an alcohol use disorder, they should cause people to examine their relationship with alcohol and speak with their healthcare professional about their drinking.

While blackout drinking is not the same as alcohol use disorder, it can raise the chance of developing an alcohol dependency that can lead to addiction. Previously, alcohol-induced blackouts were considered one of the top three markers of alcoholism and an important early warning sign of problematic drinking.

Blackout Drunk: Misconceptions

Many misconceptions about blackout drinking are thoroughly believed. Since it impairs the memory, some believe that they can get back the memories they lost during that time. Unfortunately, they won’t.

During a blackout, an entire portion of the brain (the hippocampus, which is in charge of long-term memories) undergoes a neurophysiological and chemical disturbance and shuts down totally. Alcohol lowers the amount of data that reaches the hippocampus and shuts down memory-making neurons.

Others believe that specific types of alcoholic drinks are the cause of blackouts. They are not. It doesn’t matter what exactly you’re drinking. What matters is how much exactly you’re consuming.

Some other misconceptions:

 Only people who have low alcohol tolerance blackout —they do not

Passing out happens during a blackout —it does not

Blacking out cannot cause any damage —it certainly can


Q) What does being blackout drunk mean?

A) A period of alcohol-induced amnesia during which a person actively engages in behaviors such as walking or talking but has no recollection of doing so is known as blacking out. This is particularly dangerous since the person may try to drive, engage in unsafe or non-consensual sex, or engage in other risky actions that could result in severe and potentially life-threatening situations.

Q) Does it indicate an addiction?

A) This depends on how frequently it happens. The difference between that and an addiction is that the latter is an ongoing struggle. Binge eating can happen once or twice or even very frequently. When it becomes too recurrent, it turns into an addiction.

Q) When does a blackout occur?

A) Blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of 0.16 percent (almost twice the legal driving limit) and higher are associated with blackouts. Blackouts are more likely to occur when alcohol enters the system fast, leading the BAC to rise quickly, according to research. If someone drinks on an empty stomach or consumes a high amount of alcohol in a short period of time, this can happen.

Q) How to prevent blackouts?

A) Before and during alcohol intake, eat a meal or hefty appetizers. 

Slowly sip your beverage. Instead of gulping, sipping alcohol can help you keep track of how it affects your body. To minimize how much and how quickly you consume alcohol, drink a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks.