People should call 911 if a person ever has any of these symptoms:
- is unconscious or semiconscious
- is breathing fewer than 10 times per minute, or is breathing irregularly
- is cold, clammy, pale or has bluish skin
- is having seizures
- cannot be awakened by pinching, prodding or shouting
- is vomiting without waking up
Before Drinking, follow these tips to prevent alcohol poisoning:
Lori Hashim, Cal Poly University Police commander:
-Be smart. Use the buddy system. If you know you’re going out, have a sober person in your group, and have them watch out for you.
-Limit the amount of alcohol you consume. Don’t exceed one drink per hour. Drinking large quantities of alcohol in a short time, such as on a dare or during chugging games, will lead to alcohol poisoning and can potentially cause death
Sue Fortier, Trauma Program Manager of Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center:
-Eat before drinking alcohol. Having food in your stomach can slow the entry of alcohol into your system. Snack in between each drink; this will help you digest the alcohol slowly, and help slow down your alcohol consumption.
-Stop all drug use while drinking alcohol. Drugs can produce various reactions when mixed with beer and wine and might create an adverse reaction. There are no drugs you should take with alcohol. Any drug that would be sedating would be a problem, and could potentially make you unconscious. Caffeine or stimulants can trick you into thinking you’re too alert. It’s not a good idea to mix any substances.
-Think about alcohol like any other drug. If you’re smart about it, you will measure your alcohol intake with a shot glass. Don’t let people pour your drinks because there could be more alcohol than you think.
-Drink a lot of water while consuming alcohol. Water won’t change the metabolism of alcohol in your body, but it will keep you hydrated. Stay away from carbonated drinks as they can cause the alcohol to affect you quicker. Ordering non-alcoholic drinks throughout the evening can also help you pace your alcohol consumption.
-Don’t attempt to cure drunkenness with home remedies. Coffee won’t make people more sober. Running or sweating it off won’t help. A cold shower or bath won’t make a person feel less drunk. Forcing food or drugs to a person with alcohol poisoning can only make matters worse. It’s extremely dangerous to “sleep off” alcohol poisoning. If in doubt, seek medical attention.