Acute poisoning with alcohol substitutes: signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

Alcohol surrogates are liquids based on alcohols, not intended for oral administration. When you use alcohol surrogates develop poisoning, which often leads to death.

Alcohol surrogates

Alcoholic surrogates are liquids with an alcohol content that are not beverages. Once in the human body, they cause intoxication with serious consequences for health.

Ethyl alcohol in the composition of surrogates can be either present or absent. The ethanol group includes:

  • Butyl alcohol.
  • Wood Alcohols.
  • Methanol.
  • Colognes.
  • Polisher.
  • Stain.

Surrogates are much more toxic than alcohol. Thus, wood alcohol contains methanol, methanol - aldehyde, a whole combination of different toxic alcohols is represented in the polish. In the stain there are chemical dyes, which, getting into the body, cause blue skin and mucous membranes.

The second group includes "false surrogates":

  • Methanol.
  • Ethylene glycol.
  • Isopropanol.
  • Clay BF.
  • Dichloroethane.

Toxic doses of

Alcoholic surrogates are dangerous in that already a small amount of these fluids, when ingested, provoke a fatal outcome.

Their toxic doses for the development of acute poisoning differ depending on the composition:

  • methanol - 7-8 ml.;
  • ethylene glycol - 50 ml;
  • varnish - 50 ml;
  • acetone - 30 ml;
  • isopropanol 0.5 - 2 ml / kg;
  • glue BF - 20-50 ml;
  • dichloroethane - 5 ml.

Methanol in human body is split up to formic acid and formaldehyde. These substances have a very high toxicity and cause serious damage to the central nervous system.7 ml.enough for acute poisoning with fainting and loss of vision.50 g. Cause lightning death.


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Antifreeze is made of ethylene glycol, and in the body it decomposes into glycolic and oxalic acids, which are also highly toxic. If you drink half a glass of liquid, there will be acute poisoning with convulsions, a violation of consciousness, difficulty breathing.100 ml of antifreeze - a lethal dose.

Acetone, getting into the body, irritates the digestive tract, causes inflammation of the gastric mucosa. For acute intoxication, it is enough to drink 30 ml.substances, a larger number can lead to death.

Severe poisoning with isopropanol occurs when ingested from 0.5 ml / kg. At the person the pressure decreases, digestive disorders develop, he can fall into a coma. The dose of 240 ml.provokes a lethal outcome.

BF glue usually contains ethanol, acetone and chloroform, but its composition can vary. The toxic dose depends on the specific substances, but usually enough 20 ml already to develop severe poisoning.

The strongest intoxication of the body is provoked by dichloroethane - for this it is enough to drink only 5 ml., And sometimes - and less. It affects almost all internal organs, leads to loss of consciousness, convulsions. Death comes from 20 ml.substance.

Toxicity mechanism

Alcoholic surrogates are highly toxic technical alcohols. In addition, ethanol may be present. Although it is a drinking alcohol, but in combination with technical alcohol, it also becomes an extremely dangerous poison for humans.

The reasons for the intoxication of the body are related to the effect of the designated alcohols on internal organs. Intoxication is the result of the poisonous action of alcohol poisons. If there are impurities in the alcohol, there is a real threat to life.

Alcohol in the body is split to a highly toxic acetaldehyde, and then to acetic acid. It subsequently turns into carbon dioxide and water, which are excreted by the kidneys and lungs. These processes consume all the carbohydrate stores in the liver.

Technical spirits split much longer than ethanol, continuing to circulate with blood and poison organs. Thus, amyl alcohol is retained in the body for up to 50 hours. During this time, he violates the functionality of the heart muscle, which threatens a fatal outcome.

Regular consumption of technical alcohols leads to a decrease in vascular tone. In the vessels there are microthrombi, which leads to hypertension. Since poisonous substances excrete kidneys and liver, the cells of these organs die, their insufficiency arises.
On the video about alcohol surrogates and how to recognize a fake:

Signs and symptoms of acute poisoning

The symptoms of alcohol poisoning and its substitutes depend on their composition. If a person uses a liquid based on ethanol, the consequences will be less severe than those containing methanol and ethylene glycol. Intoxication with true surrogates is expressed in psychomotor agitation, face redness, increased salivation, sweating and euphoria.

However, the symptoms of acute intoxication soon begin to appear:

  • blanching of the skin;
  • rapid urination;
  • dilated pupils;
  • dry mouth;
  • coordination disorder;
  • dispersal of attention;
  • incoherent speech.

Methanol poisoning is more dangerous. It is lightly absorbed into the digestive tract, causing the main damage to the nerves and kidneys.

Severe intoxication is given by the following symptoms:

  • nausea with vomiting;
  • vision impairment, right up to blindness;
  • weak intoxication;
  • high temperature;
  • dilated pupils;
  • impaired consciousness;
  • convulsions;
  • disorders in the work of the heart;
  • hypotension;
  • dry skin and mucous membranes.

After a couple of days the whole body starts to ache in the person - stomach, back, muscles, joints. He falls into a coma, then paralysis of the hands and feet develops.

The first 12 hours a person is in a state of intoxication and feels fine.

Then the CNS is affected and the following symptoms occur:

  • nausea with vomiting;Unquenchable thirst for
  • ;
  • diarrhea;
  • cyanosis of the mucous membranes and skin;
  • headache;
  • elevated temperature;
  • breathing disorder;
  • tachycardia;
  • motor excitement;
  • syncope;
  • convulsions.

After 2-5 days, kidneys and liver are denied. The skin turns yellow and starts to itch, urine becomes dark, and urination gradually stops completely.


To diagnose poisoning with the true surrogates the same methods are used as for detecting intoxication with ethanol. Initially, the doctor collects an anamnesis and conducts an examination of the patient. If a person has drunk cologne, a characteristic odor from the mouth is fixed, if the stain - his skin and mucous membranes are blue.

In addition, there are hardware and laboratory studies. So, the ECG helps to detect myocardial damage, heart rhythm disturbances. Also, an analysis of venous blood is performed to identify the alcohol that the patient has drunk.

The complexity of diagnosing intoxication by false surrogates lies in the fact that the patient is often in a coma. The doctor must conduct a thorough interview of relatives. There are also reactions to methanol in the blood.

Emergency care

If you suspect a poisoning by alcohol surrogates, you must urgently call an ambulance. Patients are most often in a coma, they need antidotes. Assistance in such cases can be provided only by a doctor, and every minute of inaction can cost a person's life.

The patient urgently needs gastric lavage, but it is better if it is performed by physicians. If you do this procedure yourself with a copious drink and soda solutions, a person can choke.

If the patient has stopped breathing, he needs artificial respiration. Vomit is best collected in a jar to provide them for analysis.

Treatment of

Treatment of intoxication with surrogates involves the same measures as with alcohol coma:

  • Gastric lavage.
  • Artificial ventilation.
  • Introduction of ethanol through a dropper.
  • Preparations for vision recovery.

Gastric lavage is carried out through the probe, then the patient is injected with sodium sulfate. This procedure is repeated periodically for 2-3 days. To restore normal breathing, the patient is given pure oxygen and artificially ventilates the lungs.

To prevent oxidation of methanol and accelerate its removal, the victim is injected with ethyl alcohol through a vein or give him a drink of cognac. Since poisoning with alcohol surrogates is accompanied by problems with vision, the patient is given lumbar punctures. Also he is prescribed prednisolone, ATP, atropine and vitamins.

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