Alcohol Poisoning and Safety


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Drinking to excess is a very dangerous habit in which many students from every college in America participate.  Every year there are more than 1800 deaths among college students in alcohol-related injuries and over 100 deaths from alcohol poisoning in particular. Although the most effective way to ensure a person does not suffer from alcohol poisoning is to simply not drink, it is unrealistic to propose that as a solution. It is important to notice the symptoms of alcohol poisoning and be able to respond accordingly. 

People react differently to different amounts of alcohol depending on their metabolism and body type.  However, the effects of intoxication tend to progress in a similar fashion regardless of body type.  First, after a small to moderate amount of drinking, self-confidence may improve while judgement skills and attention span drop.   

However, as a person continues drinking, symptoms become more problematic. Memory and comprehension start to fail. Although that may be more difficult to notice when someone else is experiencing it, motor skills also begin to fail at this point. This is the point where people start falling over and stop responding coherently to questions and conversation. This is the point where a responsible friend will cut them off instead of allowing more drinking to occur. If you see someone with these symptoms, stop them from drinking any more, as further consumption of alcohol leads to much more dangerous symptoms. 

Further drinking will lead to the person passing in and out of consciousness, slowed breathing, slowed heart rate, and vomiting.  Of these symptoms, only vomiting may have some positivity to it, as it may remove some of the alcohol from the body without it being absorbed. If drinking continues, the victim may stop breathing, have a dangerously low heart rate, go comatose, and eventually die. No one should ever be allowed to get to this point. Stop a person who is drinking too much as soon as motor functions start failing, if not sooner. It is better to ruin a party than to let someone die. 

However, sometimes the worst does happen and a student needs emergency treatment. Do not hesitate to call the police and paramedics, even if the student is underage. The University’s first priority is the safety of the student, and calling the police will not end the student’s future like death would. While waiting for paramedics to arrive, turn the student on their side so they will not choke on their own vomit if they do vomit. Keep them warm, and wait calmly while waiting for assistance to arrive. Once assistance does arrive, answer any questions honestly and follow their instructions, as the student’s life may depend on it. 

Alcohol related deaths and injuries are often preventable, but sometimes they do still happen.  When they do, it is important to act calmly and rationally. It may save a life. 

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