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Counseling Center

Division of Student Affairs

Alcohol Overdose

Alcohol depresses nerves that control involuntary actions such as breathing, heartbeat, and the gag reflex that prevents choking. A fatal dose of alcohol will eventually stop these functions.

Even after an individual stops drinking, alcohol continues to be absorbed through the stomach. NEVER put a drunk person to bed alone to "sleep it off." Always stay with them to monitor their condition.

The following are signs of alcohol poisoning:

  • Mental confusion
  • Stupor (barely conscious, not making any sense)
  • Coma(unable to wake up the person/no response to pinching the skin)
  • Vomiting while sleeping
  • Seizures
  • Slowed breathing (fewer than 8 breaths per minute)
  • Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
  • Hypothermia (low body temperature)
  • Pale or blue skin
  • Passed out
               Alcohol Poisoning Requires Immediate Medical Attention!

Drinking black coffee, taking a cold bath or shower, or sleeping or walking it off can not reverse alcohol poisoning. The victim must have immediate medical attention.

Call 911, stay with the victim to prevent them from choking on vomit, and tell emergency personnel how much alcohol the victim drank.

Alcohol poisoning info
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