How To Tell If Someone Is Suffering From Alcohol Poisoning
Posted on: March 14, 2019 Time to read: 2 minutes
Alcohol poisoning is the result of drinking too much alcohol in too little time. As a general rule, it’s best to avoid drinking more than one drink per hour. The consequences of alcohol poisoning are severe and can even be deadly.
Why is alcohol poisoning so dangerous?
Alcohol poisoning can:
Slow down brain functions that control breathing and heartbeat
Cause vomiting while also affecting gag reflex, which can cause someone to choke on their own vomit
Lower body temperature
Cause severe dehydration, which can result in permanent brain damage
Lower blood sugar levels and cause seizures
Result in death
What are some signs someone is suffering from alcohol poisoning?
They will exhibit one or more of these signs:
Confusion and disorientation
Cold and clammy skin
Difficulty staying awake or conscious
Diminished physical coordination, i.e. inability to walk
Irregular pulse and depressed breathing
Choking or having a hard time breathing
Loss of bladder and/or bowel control
Blue-tinged skin, especially around mouth and fingers
What do I do if I think someone has alcohol poisoning?
If you notice any of these symptoms, don’t wait to take action. CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY and NEVER LEAVE THEM ALONE.
While waiting for emergency services to arrive, follow these other steps:
Do your best to keep the person awake
Keep talking to the person and inform them of what you are doing, what’s happening, etc.
Keep the person sitting upright if possible
If they are unconscious and laying down, put them on their side with their hands above their head to keep them from choking if they vomit
Get them to slowly drink water if they are awake and conscious
Be prepared to provide information to emergency personnel like how much they’ve consumed in how long, any medications they may be on, what happened and any other details you may have
Is there anything I should avoid doing with a person experiencing alcohol poisoning?
Things NOT to do:
Give them coffee or anything else with caffeine in it
Give them food
Give them any medications or drugs
Try to get them to throw up
Walk the person around to “get them to wake up”
Give them a cold shower
Let them “sleep it off”
Leave them alone
Allow them to drink any more alcohol
Remember, if you suspect that someone is suffering from alcohol poisoning, immediately call 911 no matter the circumstances. Their life depends on it.
Want to learn more about alcohol programming for your campus or court? Visit our website to see how you can make an impact in the lives of those you work with by using our evidence-based courses.