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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SMU chapter.

People make mistakes. It’s human nature. Sometimes those mistakes include alcohol; it’s important to know how to take care of someone who has had too much to drink.

If someone is ever in a very bad state and needs an ambulance, do not hesitate to call the police. The number one priority when handling someone who has been drinking is their safety. Emergency Medical Technicians and doctors are trained to handle these situations, so if you believe you cannot handle it, call someone who can. If you are sure you can handle it, then follow these basic rules and strategies to make sure you and the person you’re taking care of get through the night. While this may seem funny, alcohol poisoning is a serious condition and requires medical attention ASAP. 

This article is intended to give advice based on personal experiences. Medical attention will always be better than attention from a friend who lives down the hall from you.  Don’t take what they say personally

Drunk people do not think about what they are saying. If they are being dumb, just remember to not take it too seriously. Of course, if something gets out of hand, call someone to assist you. Do NOT feel like all of the responsibility is on you. 

Continuously ask how they’re feeling

This tactic is used for many reasons: you can tell how slurred their speech is, if they have coherent thoughts and how they think they feel. Always take what they say with a grain of salt; for example, “i’m fine,” doesn’t always mean they’re actually fine. Use your best judgment at all times. Listen to what they’re saying but know that you’re the sober one, so you’re responsible. You want to see what they’ve drank, how much, etc… but at this point, you’re also just trying to avoid vomit reaching your carpet. 

Give them space and time

The only way to get over being drunk is for time to take control and let it pass. I know that is not what anyone wants to to hear, especially when there is a drunk person on your floor being annoying, but it’s the truth. If you are constantly in their space they could lash out. If you are trying to rush the drunk out of them, all it will do is leave you frustrated and them still drunk. 

Put them on their side

If they are throwing up, you do not want them on their back, because that creates a choking risk. Put them on their side with something against their back that inhibits their ability to turn. Grab trash bags and towels to cover the floor they are on. Also, make sure their head is raised a little; you don’t want them perfectly flat.

Don’t let them sleep in their vomit

No matter how gross it may be, you don’t want the person you’re taking care of to be sleeping in their own vomit. Before taking off their clothes, make sure you ask that they are okay with it. Then put them in the easiest kind of PJ’s (for your own sake). This will make your room not stink as bad and let that person have a little more self respect after a night of mistakes.

Cold compresses are your friend

Either an ice pack or a wash cloth with cold water on it will do. You want to keep this behind the neck or on the forehead. Both spots cool a person down and help someone feel better after vomiting. 


Water will help rehydrate, prevent hangovers and all around help a drunk person (and sober because water is amazing). You can give them water if they’re vomiting or not. Water is acceptable in all situations. Just remember, it’s very easy to get dehydrated from vomiting, so at least leave a glass of water next to them, so they can access it when needed. 


Saltine crackers are amazing for helping drunk people. It’s a better option for when they are done throwing up, so they can replenish their stomachs.

A few other tips for a person who is more tipsy than fully drunk would include Pedialyte, Tylenol and SLEEP!!!

Going out with your friends is a lot of fun, but it’s also important to take care of those friends (and get someone to take care of you) when you’re too drunk.

Miranda is a Junior at Southern Methodist University studying Economics and Psychology, looking forward to a career working within the federal government. She has lived in multiple differnet cities, including Pittsburgh, PA (home), Austin, TX, and Dallas, TX. She is a loving mother to an adorable French Bulldog named Stella. One way to never have a boring conversation is to talk about politics.