NZ Herald: Just one bottle can be deadly

Martin Johnston writes in the New Zealand Herald about the dangers of drinking too much alcohol, and why the urge to throw up after having drunk too much saves lives.

A fatal overdose of alcohol is 400ml of alcohol, which translates to about 23 cans of beer, 4 bottles of wine or a litre of neat vodka.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“”After a large volume of alcohol is consumed, especially spirits, one of the most common scenarios is that it doesn’t get past the stomach,” toxicologist Dr Allan Stowell said yesterday.

“”A high concentration of alcohol tends to irritate the stomach,” said Dr Stowell, of the Institute of Environmental & Scientific Research.

“”The stomach closes off and causes the person to vomit. It’s a safety mechanism. Many people are alive today because of that safety mechanism.”

“Otherwise, a large volume of alcohol passes into the intestine, where most of it is absorbed.”