The Science Behind Blacking Out


Have you ever woken up panicked and confused, wondering how you got home after a night out drinking with friends? If this has happened, you might have experienced an episode of alcohol induced amnesia, also known as a blackout. This is different than passing out or losing consciousness. Your friends may report drinking and talking with you during the evening and you may have even driven home – but your memory of some or most of the night is wiped away. Although blacking out is not uncommon – particularly among young people who drink heavily – it is poorly understood. Alcohol-induced impairment is dangerous and can be unpredictable. What is a Blackout?Researchers have identified two types of blackouts: En bloc, or complete blackout: when a person who had been drinking has an inability to recall entire events during the drinking period of timeFragmentary-memory loss: when a person who had been drinking...

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