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Alcohol Overdose: What to do?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Nick W., Oct 20, 2014.

  1. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    The first step in any emergency situation is to make sure that you are in ZERO immediate danger. The last thing you want to do is create another victim while trying to help. The next step should always be to call for emergency services. We are not medical professionals, and are only here to assist while waiting for trained professionals to arrive.

    If they are conscious and responsive:
    • Stay with them. Check often to make sure they are still conscious and responsive.
    • Make certain that they stay on their side, not their back.
    • Before you touch them, tell them exactly what you are going to do. Be aware of any signs of aggression. Do not ridicule, judge, threaten, or try to counsel them.
    • Remain calm and be firm. Avoid communicating feelings of anxiety or anger.
    • Don't give them food, drink, or medication of any kind.
    • Remember that only time will sober up a drunk person. Walking, showering, or drinking coffee will not help and may actually cause harm.
    If the person is unconscious, semi-conscious, or unresponsive, check for these symptoms of alcohol or drug overdose:

    • Cannot be roused and are unresponsive to your voice, shaking, or pinching their skin.
    • Skin is cold, clammy, pale, bluish, and/or blotchy.
    • Breathing is slow - eight or fewer breaths per minute.
    • Experience lapses in breathing - more than 10 seconds between breaths.
    • Exhibit mental confusion, stupor, or coma.
    • Have seizures, convulsions, or rigid spasms.
    • Vomit while asleep or unconscious and do not awaken.
    If any of these symptoms of alcohol overdose exist, call 911 for help, and while waiting for emergency personnel do not leave them alone, and be prepared to perform CPR, if you are properly trained to do so.
    camsdad, Jen S. and Joseph like this.
  2. camsdad

    camsdad Member

    It's scary thinking about how something that was supposed to be a fun night could turn into this. I've been here before and do not like it one bit. No one ever called an ambulance. That's the last think a group of Punk rockers would do, but I guess nobody is really taking the situation seriously.
    Nick W. likes this.
  3. sillylucy

    sillylucy Community Champion

    I remember in college when I had to put my roommates onto their sides so that they wouldn't vomit in their sleep. It was rough times and I don't know how I knew that or where I learned that from. I think it might have been from TV shows.
  4. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    My best friend was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning during his Freshman year of college. Binge drinking, and being around others that are doing the same, can be very dangerous. If nobody in the area is able to make quick and rational decisions, bad things are going to happen. I personally think their should be stronger restrictions on college campuses, and stiffer penalties as well.
  5. camsdad

    camsdad Member

    I'm amazed at how little effort goes in to controlling hard partying on college campuses. Kids start going really hard the year they get there and those who don't, eventually join too. Binge drinking is a problem that won't be solved unless the authorities start regulating the sale of alcohol on campus and how much is allowed to be brought onto campus. I hope everything worked out with your friend.
    Nick W. likes this.
  6. ariana_

    ariana_ Member

    Hey, I have a question. If someone goes to the hospital for alcohol overdose, will they be charged for underage drinking (if they are underage)? Also, will the person calling go to jail for underage drinking? Will someone without insurance be able to receive help for alcohol poisoning?
  7. Askani

    Askani Active Contributor

    I don't think the person who is drunk would be charged with anything. I would imagine they would get questioned about where they had gotten the liquor from and possible charges could be filed against the person who bought it. A hospital has to help you no matter if you have insurance or not if it is an emergency I think.
  8. mimsee

    mimsee Active Contributor

    Like Aksani said, I believe that the authorities would be more worried about who had provided the minor with alcohol...especially if the minor is in bad condition due to it. Something like that may vary state-to-state as well.
  9. ariana_

    ariana_ Member

    Okay, that's good. It was a hypothetical question. It would be terrible if there was a chance of going to jail, because so many people might avoid calling 911 when they really need it. I'll check on the laws in my state, thanks!
  10. mimsee

    mimsee Active Contributor

    I understand what you mean, and it IS very sad :( a lot of people don't seek medical help for their drug addictions as well because they're scared they'll be in trouble for purchasing and using the drugs. It's terrible that people fear asking for help but it's a harsh reality.
  11. Allen24

    Allen24 Active Contributor

    Thanks for posting these great tips. I've never dealt with severe case but here at college I see a lot of people in various states of consciousness due to alcohol. It makes me feel good to be prepared to help someone else out.
  12. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    From first hand information, yes. It's going to depend on the nature of the case, the officers involved, and other factors, but underage drinking is a crime. However, typically they do not take you to jail for it, it's more like a citation and other consequences. My friend lost his license for a year and had a pretty hefty fine. Alcohol poisoning is an emergency situation, so any ER will take you, regardless of insurance. Now, that does not mean that you won't owe them large sums of money for it.
    Joseph likes this.
  13. Davienna

    Davienna Community Champion

    Thank you for this wonderful information my dear, as in the event of an overdose I would not have known what to do. In my neighborhood if someone had an alcohol overdose, they would just be mocked and scorned- maybe left alone on the road unless a very loving family member sees them and lead them to their home. People tend not to care for these persons and think that it is just by simple choice they cab stop their addiction. I wish they would be more sensitized.
    Joseph and Nick W. like this.
  14. camsdad

    camsdad Member

    This is what my friends at the time would do. It was funny to them to see me in that state and the next day would just be jokes about how I made a fool of myself. Thankfully I'm still alive.
  15. iamsaif

    iamsaif Member

    In any dangerous or harmful situation, one must call at 911 immediately. If you are in a condition where you cannot reach out at your cell phone or cannot call for any help then you must try making some noise so that your nearby people or neighbours can take an action to it if they find something wrong. That's it! for more advices stay in touch with our forums. Thank you!

    But although if you ask me, drinking is not a good habit, it compromises your health, without alcohol life is much better, you can only discover that when you start diverting your mind elsewhere, for example you can workout(nothing is better than having a workout). you can either take long runs in the morning. What I do to keep my mind busy is that I write a diary page daily. That's it. All you need is better health for a good life.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2014
    Joseph likes this.
  16. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    This is an informative post. Tending to someone who has od'd on alcohol is not something that's ever been on my radar because I don't find drinking a lot appealing and therefore have never really hung out a lot with those who do. When I was a lot younger, my friends and I would drink a lot, but even then I really wasn't "into" it.

    As far as helping someone out who has overdosed on alcohol, I was surprised to read that drinking coffee or showering won't help a person sober up. Also I didn't really think about letting the person know exactly what you're doing before you touch them, just that in itself could prove to be something crucial that one needs to know.
  17. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    Thanks for all the info. For the experience I have I know we need to put them on the side so that they don't choke and call 911, these are the basics of course.
    Nick W. likes this.
  18. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    Remember that the first steps are always going to be making sure that you are safe first, and then calling for help. Once that's done, you can assist & support someone else until medical professionals arrive at the scene.
    Joseph likes this.
  19. SamClemensMT

    SamClemensMT Member

    Interesting that you knew what to do just on natural instinct. Jimmy Hendricks, the great rock star who died at age 26, suffocated on his own vomit. I believe, he might have survived if his friend had turned him on his side. What a way to go, so avoidable.
    Joseph and Nick W. like this.
  20. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    I wonder if it would at least be beneficial to have a basic safety & drinking orientation with new students. It would be a serious case of denial to think that it's not going to happen for most students, and it's always better to be safe than sorry.
    Joseph likes this.