Alcohol Poisoning

If you encounter someone who could be suffering from acute alcohol poisoning it is DANGEROUS to assume they will be fine by “just sleeping it off.” Especially monitor anyone who has participated in drinking games or a chugging contest for at least 2 hours after drinking stops.

* If in a residence hall or Village housing, contact your RA or professional staff for assistance.


  1. CALL SECURITY (6911) if the person shows ANY of the below signs. If you cannot wake the person up, it is a SERIOUS situation. If you are at all concerned, don't hesitate to get help.
  2. Try to wake the person. Are they unconscious? Do they respond to pinching of the skin or shouting their name?
  3. Check their skin color and temperature. If the person is pale or bluish, or if the skin is cold or clammy, they may not be getting enough oxygen.
  4. Check their breathing. If the person is breathing irregularly, with a few breaths and then nothing for a while, or if they are breathing VERY slowly or shallowly (less than 10 breaths per minute), this is a sign that medical attention is necessary.
  5. Turn the person on their side. If the person is on his or her side they may not choke if they get sick and vomit. Don't let them roll over on their back. Leave them ONLY if necessary to call for medical assistance.
  6. Contact your RA or RC for assistance.

Important Tips:

  • Don't give the person coffee, tea, or other liquid stimulants to sober them up.
  • Don't give the person a cold shower – it may cause the person to lose consciousness.
  • Don't administer anything orally – to sober the person up – it may only upset his/her stomach more. Time is the only thing that can make someone sober.
  • Don't let fears about how the person may respond tomorrow, or concerns about getting in trouble, prevent you from acting and getting help when they need it. You may be saving a life.
  • Speak in a clear, reassuring manner. Don't try to be rational or logical in discussions with the person. Remember, their judgment is impaired. Do be brief and concise.
  • Utilize the support of others.

Please refer to the Wellness Resources pages for further information and helpful tools and tips.

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