Unconscious or semi-conscious and cannot be awakened
No response to pinching the skin or other physical stimuli (gentle shaking, etc.)
The person vomits while passed out and does not wake up during or after
The person has seizures
Slow respiration (breaths) of eight or less per minute or lapses between breaths of more than eight seconds
Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin, especially around the lips and nose. In the event of alcohol poisoning, these signs and symptoms will most likely be accompanied by a strong odor of alcohol. While these are obvious signs of alcohol poisoning, the list is not comprehensive.
What Can You Do to Help?
Call 911 immediately.
While waiting for help, gently turn the intoxicated person on his/her side and maintain that position by placing a pillow in the small of the person’s back. This is important to prevent aspiration (choking) should the person vomit.
Stay with the person until medical help arrives.
If a person appears to be “sleeping it off,” it is important to realize that even though a person may be semi-conscious, alcohol already in the stomach may continue to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body. The person’s life may still be in danger.
Do not wait for all of the signs to appear and do not try to guess the level of drunkenness.
Do not leave the person alone.
If vomiting occurs, clear the airway by sweeping vomited material out of their mouth.
Monitor their breathing and heart rate.
If breathing and heart rate cease, begin CPR.
How to Help an Intoxicated Friend
Continually monitor the intoxicated person.
Check their breathing, waking them often to be sure they are not unconscious.
An intoxicated person should not be put in charge of another intoxicated person.
Do not allow the person to drive a car or ride a bicycle.
Do not give the person food, liquid, medicines, or drugs to sober them up.
Do not give the person a cold shower; the shock of the cold could cause unconsciousness.