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F E ATU R E S
l INTOXlf “
By Casey Morgan
Most of us have, at some point in our
lives, had to take care of a friend who
has had too much to drink. In most
cases, giving the friend several glasses
of water and having them lie down is
good enough. However, there are times
when "good enough" ... is not.
If a friend is noticeably intoxicated
— slurring words at an increasingly
high volume, tripping over nonexistent
items and having deep conversations
with inanimate objects, perhaps — the
first step is to get them to stop drinking.
This is easier said than done, as drunk
people tend to get very attached to their
beverages. For some, this is the extent
of assistance you need to provide. But
if your friend starts to get that frantic
look on their face and stumbles to the
nearest receptacle (potted plant, toilet,
you name it), be prepared to spend the
remainder of your evening with them.
There are several things to Keep in
mind when dealing with intoxicated
friends. Much of this has been adapted
DRINK AND WEIGHT TABIE
HuMber of Drinks
-^HVMan Of DUNKS TO K U6SUY DtONK.
OW MHNR K CONaKItfO:
I 3 Dt. 6h»$ of Wint
f shot or 1 01. of HorJ Uqoor
Wt/l5 3bout Sobering up;
f' "You're supposed to give a drunk per-
son food, water or any kind of medicine to sober
What? No. Well, yes, you're supposed to give
them water and food, but this is tricky. Anything
in the mouth of a semiconscious person can cause
vomiting, choking or inability to breathe. Unless
the person is capable of feeding themselves or
drinking a glass of water, do not make them. As
for giving them anything you find in your medi
cine cabinet... not a good idea. Alcohol amplifies
the effect of medication. Some over-the-counter
medicines can put you at risk for harmful reac
tions. Ibuprofen has the potential to cause bleed
ing and ulcers, liver damage or an abnormally
\^apid heartbeat. ,
/ "People pass out from drinking all the\
'^time. It's nothing to worry about. I'll cause
more problems by trying to get help."
False. When a person passes out from drinking,
it's because their body is physically incapable of
tolerating the amount of alcohol put into their
system. Alcohol is a depressant that slows down
your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure and
slows your breathing. Once your brain has been
depressed enough by the alcohol, you pass out.
The amount of alcohol it takes to make you pass
out is dangerously close to the amount of alcohol
it takes to make you dead, so yes — worry about
^t. A judicial penalty is a lot better than death.y^
^ *The best thing to do for someone who\^
is drunk is to put them to bed and let them
sleep it off."
Sort of. Although this is partly true, the fact is
that a drunk person is helpless and must be cared
for. Under no circumstances are you to leave a
very drunk person alone. Stay with them, check
their breathing, check their skin temperature and
frequently wake them.
"Drunk people are funny and make greaU
jokes. Also, they're really easy to provoke. Fair
Please, no. Alcohol can make a person feel
invincible. Egging on a drunk person could cause
them to do something stupid or dangerous.
It might seem funny at the time, but it won't
be when you're the one taking them to the
emergency room. And even minor provocation
can cause a happy drunk to become an upset or
\yiolent one. J
/ "Putting a drunk person in a cold showerN
helps them sober up."
Don t do it. The shock of the cold could cause
them to become unconscious, which is the oppo-
N^ite of sobering them up. ^
"They'll be fine to drive. It's only a few
This needs no explanation.
December 2, 2011
Steps to take when
IS VOMITING: Try to keep the person sitting up. If they insist
on lying down, make sure they lie on their side. Do not leave them
HAS PASSED OUT: Try to wake them. If you are unable to, put
the person on their side and call 911 and then Public Safety.
HAS A FEVER, CHILLS, OR COLD/PALE/BLUISH SKIN,
OR IF THEY ARE VERY SWEATY: Call a doctor, describe these
symptoms, and get advice on what to do. This can be done anony
IS BECOMING VIOLENT: Notify the party's host or a bouncer
at the bar. Call the police if the behavior is especially volatile.
IS HAVING DIFFICULTY BREATHING: If the person is not
breathing normally or if they stop breathing, call 911. Anything
under 12 breaths a minute is considered abnormal and points to
IS INJURED: Call 911 for an ambulance, or take
your friend to the emergency room yourself. They
might not feel pain and tell you they do not
require medical assistance. Don't believe them.
Unsurprisingly, drunk people don't always know
what is best for them. Insist that they see a doctor.
SEEMS PARANOID, CONFUSED, DISORIENTED OR
UNBALANCED: Take them home and make sure they do not
drink any more alcohol. Try to keep your friend awake and calm.
Information from FactsOnTap.org
-Ask them to drink lots of
-Have them sit down
-If they want to go to sleep, have them lie on their
-Take their keys
-Have them eat bread if they can feed themselves
-Let them fall asleep on their stomach or back
-Force them to drink or eat
-Be bossy, argue
-Grab their drink away
WILL I GET IN TROUBLE
I am drunk, and I call for assistance for my friend?
I am underage and drunk, calling for assistance for my friend?
I am under the influence of drugs, calling for assistance for my
No. If you are calling because you are worried about the safe
ty of your friend, no formal judicial record will be reported in
your name. You might have to have a meeting with a counselor
to discuss the event, but your record will not be charged. Your
friend, on the other hand, is subject to standard consequences.
The student caller does not usually get (documented), but
the drunk student definitely gets (documented), and depending
on his/her judicial history, the consequences differ."
-Delphine Uwase, Resident Advisor in Mary Hobbs