Blackouts – common or rare?

By David Joel Miller.

Are blackouts common?

Morning Question #15.

Blackouts are nothing like passing out or being unconscious. Blackouts involve the ability to walk, talk and function while intoxicating but to form no memories. The next day the drinker may not know what happened.

Blackouts are relatively common, with up to half of all college students reporting having had an episode of memory loss when drinking. These episodes are highly associated with Binge Drinking. Blackouts range from “brownouts” sometimes called fragmentary blackouts where there are portions of memory mixed with missing facts to full-on blackouts (sometimes called block blackouts) of having lived hours or sometimes days with no memory of where you were or what happened.

Having a blackout especially early in your drinking career indicates a huge risk of developing alcoholism.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books


2 thoughts on “Blackouts – common or rare?

  1. Pingback: What are Morning Questions? | counselorssoapbox

  2. Pingback: Will I remember my Black out? Reader Question # 3 | counselorssoapbox

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