A man stands at a table with glass alcohol bottles near him

Sometimes it may be difficult for us to decide whether a loved one or we has a problem with drugs or alcohol. There are certain characteristics, however, that may strongly indicate someone has a problem. Here we take a look at a major symptom that you or a loved one may have a problem with drugs or alcohol: blacking out.

What is blacking out?

Blacking out refers to a temporary condition that affects memory. They are often characterized by lost time, or an inability to remember certain periods of time. Blackouts can A woman holds onto a bottle of alcohol on the verge of a black outoccur when one drinks large amounts of alcohol. They can also occur by taking certain drugs, such as benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, etc).

What are the symptoms of blacking out?

The main symptom of a blackout is memory loss during the period of intoxication. Other symptoms that also commonly occur include (1):

  • Difficulty walking
  • Balance issues
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired judgment
  • Impaired vision

What makes blacking out dangerous?

Blackouts are extremely dangerous for many reasons. They greatly hinder the individual’s ability for rational thought, decision-making, and comprehending consequences. To make matters worse, memory impairment means the individual will have no idea of the things they may or may not have done the night before. (2)

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What are the implications?

Blacking out is one of the major signs that you or a loved one may suffer from alcoholism or addiction. Drinking or drugging to the state of a blackout even once can be incredibly dangerous. If it is a frequent occurrence, you or a loved one should consider possibly seeking treatment options.

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.


  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/what-causes-blackouts
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ending-addiction-good/201412/the-danger-drinking-blackout