Can You Get Drunk from Rubbing Alcohol?

Do you remember those times when a few solvent bottles at your home had that ‘POISON’ sticker over them? Those bottles were commonly Rat Killers, Home-Use Acids, and Rubbing Alcohol.

Today with time, such straight ‘POISON’ disclaimers aren’t the trend, but that doesn’t mean that the hazard of any such product has also gone away.

Especially when we talk about Rubbing Alcohol, the Name may suggest fascinating, but it is in no way meant for consumption.

Regardless of whichever Rubbing Alcohol (Isopropyl or Ethanol), if you have drunk it, either call 911, reach Poison Control, a Rehab Centre, or your nearest help station immediately.

If you are safe, out of risk, then for more information, have a look at our guide below. It has everything from how poisonous can Rubbing Alcohol get and how to react further. Have a look:

Can you get drunk off Rubbing Alcohol?

Yes, you can get drunk off Rubbing Alcohol (for an uninterrupted answer). However, the very next minute, it will also start poisoning you internally, adding to a process that might kill you.

What would happen if you drank Rubbing Alcohol?

Rubbing Alcohol is denatured Alcohol which means it isn’t Alcohol alone but a chemical solvent as well. It is a common household substance but not meant for drinking in any given circumstance.

Though consuming all Alcohol at some level might kill a human, but even a sip or two of Rubbing Alcohol can posses’ danger more than you can think off.

Drinking Rubbing Alcohol – Risks & Dangers

Rubbing Alcohol is a pure and chemicalized version of Alcohol in general. It is 70 percent pure form of Alcohol or even more in some solvents. Drinking as little as 8 ounces of Rubbing Alcohol can prove lethal and lead to death.

As per research, sipping on as low as 10 to 20 ounces of Rubbing Alcohol can show noticeable side effects within the next 20 to 30 minutes. Or, if the amount was larger, the reaction may come within the next 5 to 10 minutes.

Risks and Dangers of Drinking Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing Alcohol is one of the most helpful and most dangerous household solvents.

Reaction to consuming Rubbing Alcohol may vary from individual to individual, but at the least, it can prove poisonous.

While a very small amount might not bring it to life and death, it can potentially spread toxicity inside the body.

As per the National Capital Poisoning control, a person who ingests Rubbing Alcohol can behave drunk.

However, it isn’t the behavior alone but also other factors that will further contribute to his physical and mental health.

Here’s a list of risks, consequences, and dangers generated from drinking Rubbing Alcohol.

Can you get drunk from Rubbing Alcohol?

Signs of Rubbing Alcohol Consumption:

  • Vomiting/ Blood vomiting
  • Loss of physical coordination
  • Stumbling
  • Slurred speech
  • Sedation
  • Unconsciousness

Side effects of consuming Rubbing Alcohol (may become visible after 10 to 30 minutes of drinking Rubbing Alcohol):

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Stomach pain
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Small pupils
  • Slowed breathing
  • Decreased coordination
  • Unresponsive reflexes
  • Headache
  • Throat pain
  • Internal Burns
  • Skin redness
  • Low blood sugar
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low body temperature
  • Coma
  • Pain in the gut.

Extreme dangers of consuming Rubbing Alcohol:

  • Oxygen deprivation 
  • Organ Failure
  • Brain Damage
  • Heart Attack
  • Bleeding in the stomach and intestines (Internal process thus is invisible, difficult to notice)
  • Death (Depending upon the amount of Rubbing Alcohol an individual had drunk).

Isopropyl Alcohol Poisoning: How to treat?

When an individual accidentally or purposely consumes Isopropyl Alcohol, it isn’t possible to recover at home.

Be it Rubbing Alcohol or any other type of Poisoning; it requires immediate medical attention.

If someone around you has drunk Rubbing (Isopropyl) Alcohol, then either call 911 or any Poison control center around.

If there aren’t any such services around you, then make sure the drunk individual reaches the hospital fast.

Regardless of symptom or not, there is no chance of waiting back. Even half an hour of delay may bring the situation to life and death of that individual.

The medical attendant may ask you the following details about the patient (who drank Isopropyl): Age, Height, Weight, Medical History, Alcohol, and Drug History, amount of Isopropyl he/ she has consumed, the time of consumption, and Symptoms.

Hospitalization, medical examination, and expert guidance are vital for some suffering from Isopropyl Alcohol Poisoning.

After admitting to the hospital, doctors will first ensure removing all the Isopropyl from the body.

It is important to stop the Poison from spreading. Some of the medical examinations may include

  • Blood and urine tests,
  • Kidney Dialysis,
  • Intubation,
  • Nasogastric intubation,
  • ECG,
  • IV fluids,
  • Chest X-ray and more.

Individuals who suffer from Isopropyl Alcohol Poisoning might also require breathing support or dialysis. The process can take anywhere between 7 days to a month or even more from treatment to recovery.  

Caution: Unless a doctor asks you to do so, never induce vomit to a person who consumed Rubbing Alcohol. As instead of helping, it will worsen the case, making the Poison spread over lungs and other body parts.

Is diluted Rubbing Alcohol safe for drinking?

No, in no form. Rubbing Alcohol is meant for drinking. Regardless of how much you dilute it, mix it with consuming Alcohol or so on, stay away from drinking it.

Remember, once you drink Rubbing Alcohol, 80% of it dissolves in the bloodstream within 30 minutes of consumption. Its Poisoning kicks in rapidly.

Also, because Rubbing Alcohol metabolizes very fast, it affects the central nervous system all at once. And, due to its chemical potency, even after watering it down, Alcohol remains toxic and poisonous.

Rubbing Alcohol Only Looks Like Water. Confusion? Here’s how to stay alert

If you look at Rubbing Alcohol inside a glass or transparent glass bottle, it will look exactly like water. This is one of the common reasons that individuals drink this solvent accidentally.

However, because it has a strong chemical smell, anyone who accidentally brings it close to the mouth can detect and stop.

Though again, an expired bottle of Rubbing Alcohol or solvent which was left open in the air might lose its chemical scent. This, at the stage, makes it evident for individuals to confuse it with water.

How to stay safe from drinking Rubbing Alcohol accidentally?

Staying safe from Rubbing Alcohol is easy but a never-ending battle. It is a common part of household products that makes risk associated with it easier to come to life.

  • The first solution to keep risks at bay is not buying Rubbing Alcohol. Regardless of how useful it is, there are multiple other substitutes for the same.
  • If you have a bottle of Rubbing Alcohol at home, keep it high, out of reach from children. Even if they have grown-up kids at home, it is vital to keep it away from their reach as well. You never know, but if it may happen that your child purposely drinks it, leading to an unwanted circumstance.
  • Always keep the Rubbing Alcohol solvent in its original bottle. Never transfer it into other bottles, which can lead to accidental drinking.
  • Never remove the Name, description and caution sticker from the Rubbing Alcohol bottle.
  • If possible, add one sticker stating Poison to the bottle.
  • Always keep Rubbing Alcohol in a well-ventilated space.
  • Anyone who is an Alcohol addict and wanting to drink Rubbing Alcohol regardless of knowing its dangers, take them to Rehab.

Wrapping up…

Its emphasis is to avoid Rubbing Alcohol for any kind of consumption all along to the end. Though it can make you drunk, it is important not to confuse Rubbing Alcohol with Consumable Alcohol.

Even for the days who do not have access to your Wine, Whisky and Beer, never substitute its craving with Isopropyl. Remember, you aren’t drinking another form of Alcohol, but you are sipping down on sheer Poison.

If someone you know is consuming Rubbing Alcohol, stop them immediately. Though if the deed is done, take them to the nearest hospital without wasting even a minute.

If there isn’t any hospital within short reach, call 911, your nearest Drug Rehab, or Poison control center. In the circumstances you cannot find any of these handy for that moment, connect your local police for further guidance.  

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