picture of needles and other drug paraphanaliaChemical dependency is a condition in which the use of mood altering substances affect any area of life on a continuing basis
Medical research has very strong evidence that alcohol abuse contributes significantly to cancer and heart disease
Many illicit drugs have been demonstrated to lead to serious short and long-term health problems
There is clear evidence of serious negative effects on babies due to use of illicit drugs and alcohol by the mother during pregnancy

Alcohol Poisoning: Signs and Symptoms

While these are obvious signs of alcohol poisoning,
the list is certainly not all inclusive:

  • Unconscious or semiconsciousness
  • Cannot be awakened by pinching, prodding or shouting
    Slow respiration of eight or less breaths per minute or lapses between breaths of more than eight seconds
    Cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin
  • In the event of alcohol poisoning, these signs and symptoms will most likely be accompanied by a strong odor of alcohol
  • Vomiting without waking up

Alcohol Poisoning: Appropriate Action to take

  • If you encounter a person who exhibits one or more of the symptoms call for emergency assistance
  • If you are having difficulty in determining whether an individual is acutely intoxicated, call for emergency assistance
  • You can’t afford to guess – it could be a matter of life or death
  • Your primary concern should be the welfare of the person, not whether anyone will get in trouble
  • While waiting for emergency personnel to arrive, gently turn the intoxicated person on his/her side and maintain that position. This is to prevent aspiration (choking) should the person vomit.
  • picture of paramedics with person on gurneyStay with the person until medical help arrives. If a person appears to be “sleeping it off,” even though a person may be semi-conscious, alcohol already in the stomach may continue to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body. The person’s life may still be in danger.

(Adapted from National Council on Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Inc.)

If you are on-campus or close by, you will get the quickest response by calling the University Police dispatcher at 619-594-1991. Program this into your cell phone in case you ever need it; otherwise call 911. Do what you would do in any medical emergency – call immediately!


Question: What should you do if someone has been drinking, has passed out and cannot be awakened?

  • A Let them sleep it off, and check on them periodically
    A is incorrect
  • B Put cool cloths on their forehead
    B is incorrect
  • C Call University Police or 911; put them on their side until help arrives
    C is correct! Alcohol poisoning can result in death. If someone is unconscious it must be treated as a medical emergency.
  • D Put a wastebasket near them, just in case they vomit.
    D is incorrect
  • E None of the above.
    E is incorrect