Middlebury

Student Services

 

Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning occurs when someone has consumed enough alcohol to overwhelm their organ systems and poison their body. Unlike other kinds of medical situations, all four signs of alcohol poisoning do not need to be present in order to indicate that someone needs help. 

Puking

Vomiting is the body's way of ejecting excess alcohol that it does not have the time or energy to process. The human body can only process one standard drink per hour. Vomiting is a clear message from the body to stop consuming alcohol, not permission to continue.

Unconscious

Someone who cannot be stirred, woken up, and does not show any response to stimuli is unconscious. Whether someone is in a continuous state of unconsciousness or alternates back into consciousness, this is a serious warning sign. 

Breathing

Breathing that is shallow, labored, slow, or irregular is cause for concern. 

Skin 

Skin that is cold, clammy, excessively sweaty, or blueish is cause for concern. 

 

If you suspect that you or someone else has alcohol poisoning it is important to call for help immediately by calling 911 or x5911 for the Department of Public Safety. While you wait with the person for help to arrive, you can turn the person on their side to decrease the risk of aspiration.

If you suspect that you or someone else has alcohol poisoning DO NOT let them "sleep it off," DO NOT give them food or water, DO NOT put them in a cold shower, and DO NOT give them any other alcohol or drugs (including caffeine).