Perhaps you’re at a party and see someone who is out of it from drinking too much alcohol. That person is at risk of injuring themselves if they succumb to alcohol poisoning or choke on their vomit while they’re sleeping. Ensuring the safety of someone who is intoxicated can allow you to support them towards seeking treatment, potentially saving their life.

Make Sure They Are Safe

Take note of how much the individual has had to drink, as well as the timeframe in which they were drinking. Get information regarding their alcohol tolerance, and if they ate any food before drinking. If they are incoherent and cannot understand you, they are most likely suffering from alcohol poisoning and should be taken to a hospital immediately. Before you approach or touch someone who is intoxicated, let them know what your intentions are, as they may be disoriented and confused. You can try to wake them up and ask if they are okay. Call an ambulance if there is no response. If you know the individual, try to wake them up and bring them somewhere safe to sober up. If you do not know them, find someone who does to take care of them.

Sleep It off Safely

Never let someone intoxicated sleep unattended, as the body can still absorb alcohol even when asleep. Lay the individual on their side with a pillow behind them in case they need to throw up. This will help to avoid choking. If they are not at risk of alcohol poisoning, sleeping it off can allow the alcohol to be processed and removed from their bloodstream. Wake them up every five to ten minutes for the first hour to ensure they do not have alcohol poisoning. If they seem fine after that, you can move to hourly checks. Make sure they are not alone for extended periods to ensure their breathing is still normal. 

Help Them Sober Up

If the individual is already intoxicated, drinking more alcohol will put them in danger of alcohol poisoning. Take the alcohol away from them and replace it with water instead. You can also get some food for them to eat to dull the effects of alcohol and slow down absorption. Allow at least an hour to pass for them to sober up. Whether you know this person or not, never let someone who is intoxicated be alone, as this could be the difference between life and death.

Knowing what to do when you see someone who is heavily intoxicated can be difficult. You may think that it’s not your business, especially if you don’t know the person, or if you feel you don’t have the proper training to help. However, there are simple steps you can take to helping someone sober up safely. Furthermore, you can be a hero to this person, not just for today, but for the rest of their life, if you encourage them towards a path of recovery. At Alta Loma, we understand that it may feel hard to turn down alcohol at social gatherings. However, we want to ensure you, that a sober lifestyle is much better than risking alcohol poisoning or alcohol dependency.  Located in Georgetown, Texas, we are equipped with the tools you need to sustain a sober life, such as 12-step programs, individualized therapy, medication management, and education on healthy coping skills. Please call (866) 457-3843.