A potentially dangerous situation exists whenever an individual consumes too much alcohol. A high blood high alcohol concentration can result in bizarre, unpredictable behavior, unconsciousness, or even death. The degree of danger depends on the person’s size, what and how much the person drinks, what time period is involved, if the person took drugs besides alcohol, and other circumstances.
Get help immediately if the person…
- cannot be aroused by shaking or shouting.
- has a breathing rate that is shallow or irregular.
- drank alcohol in combination with a sedative or tranquilizer.
- sustained a blow to the head or any injury which caused bleeding.
- drank a large quantity (e.g., pint) of liquor, is disoriented, incoherent, or has collapsed.
Call 911 if a person is unconscious due to excessive alcohol consumption:
- Check regularly for breathing and consciousness. Roommates and friends should stay with the person.
- Make sure the person is lying on his/her side with knees bent. This position will help prevent choking should the person vomit.
- If the person vomits, stay with him/her to see that he/she does not swallow or aspirate the vomit. Get immediate help if the person has difficulty expelling the vomit or gags on it.
Rule of thumb: If you are not sure about what to do, but you think the person needs help, call 911.