Is it possible to remember after a blackout?
If you experience a partial blackout, visual or verbal cues may help you remember forgotten events. If you have a complete blackout, memory loss is permanent. Even with cues, you're unlikely to remember what happened during this time.
Intoxicated subjects are typically able to recall information immediately after it is presented and even keep it active in short–term memory for 1 minute or more if they are not distracted.
Generally, though, it may take up to two weeks for the brain's chemistry to return to normal after experiencing extended periods of alcoholic blackout.
En bloc blackouts. A complete loss of memory during intoxication. During en bloc blackouts, what most people refer to as being blacked out, someone can't remember anything after a specific period of time. The brain's ability to create long-term memories is completely blocked.
Alcohol affects short-term memory by slowing down how nerves communicate with each other in a part of the brain called the hippocampus. The hippocampus plays a significant role in helping people form and maintain memories. When normal nerve activity slows down, short-term memory loss can occur.
While alcohol does make you tell the truth in most cases, people can still lie while under the influence. Context can help determine whether someone who's drunk means what they say. Negative comments and anger while drinking tends to be defense mechanisms and may not necessarily stem from the truth.
SHORT TERM MEMORY TEST
A person in a blackout will not remember something that happened a few minutes ago. Thus, if the person doesn't seem to know what you are talking about or has no memory of what happened, assume they are in a blackout and do NOT leave them alone.
When a person is blacked out, the brain continues to process information but is incapable of forming new memories due to this reaction. All blackouts are not the same and can be distinguished by the severity of amnesia experienced.
If you have a blackout, you lose consciousness temporarily. Before that, you might fall down, have blurred-vision, or be confused. Sometimes, people experience memory loss and describe this as a blackout – for example, after they have drunk a lot of alcohol or taken illicit drugs.
The duration of blackouts ranged from 9 hours to 3 days. Based on his observations, Ryback concluded that a key predictor of blackouts was the rate at which subjects consumed their drinks. He stated, “It is important to note that all the blackout periods occurred after a rapid rise in blood alcohol level” (p. 622).