- Do not make them drink water: While drinking water will help with alcohol-induced dehydration, a person with alcohol poisoning could choke on the water if their gag reflex has been severely affected. It is better to keep their airway free and not give them anything to eat or drink.
- Do not have them drink caffeine: Like alcohol, caffeine leads to dehydration, which can make the symptoms of alcohol poisoning worse. Severe dehydration can lead to brain damage.
- Do not tell them to sleep it off: If a person with alcohol poisoning is left alone, there is a chance they could choke on their own vomit, stop breathing or go into cardiac arrest. It is important for someone to be there to monitor their health until help arrives.
- Do not leave them with a backpack on: This idea has been used by college students who reasoned that laying a person on their side with a backpack on would prevent them from rolling onto their back and choking on their vomit. This idea does not work. A person with alcohol poisoning should never be left alone.
- Do not have them walk it off: Walking may cause stumbling or falling, which can lead to injuries. It is best to stay in one place and keep them upright if possible.
- Do not put them in a cold shower: Alcohol lowers body temperature and drinking too much alcohol can lead to hypothermia. It is not a good idea to put a person with alcohol poisoning in a cold shower, as it could make the hypothermia worse.
It is best to keep the person comfortable, upright and conscious until help arrives.
If you would like information about Florida Center for Recovery’s all-inclusive detox and inpatient alcohol addiction treatment program or have a question regarding insurance, private pay, financing and admissions process, CALL US AT: (800) 851-3291
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Dr. Balta is the Medical Director at FCR for more than 10 years. Dr. Balta is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Certified Psychoanalyst. As well, as having Psychiatric Training at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine Psychiatric Residency Program In New York City and Psychoanalytic Training at The William Alanson White Institute in New York City. While working in New York City, gained funding Grants for the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders from SAMHSA , HRSA and the City of New York.