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What To Do If Your Friend Drinks Too Much

College is the time for staying up late, going to football games, and… excessive drinking?  The tradition of Thirsty Thursdays and fraternity parties have plagued the university systems since the beginning of when they were first founded.   Recently, I’ve had the experience of taking care of someone that had been sick from excessive drinking and while it was uncomfortable, most of all it was scary. Although drinking can be fun and a way to socialize, here’s what to do in situations when you need to take care of someone that drank excessively.   

1. Recognize The Signs

The first thing that you might notice is confusion and lack of coordination, like when someone is stumbling around and cannot remember who is who or where they are. Following that will be vomiting and unconsciousness, vomiting probably the most noticeable sign. From there, in the most extreme cases, it only gets worse. If they look extremely pale and very cold, while they seem to be breathing too slow, that’s when you need to call 911.From there, seizures are one of the symptoms that show up in the most extreme cases and are one of the most dangerous things that could happen to a person. If one of your friends is experiencing this then it’s most likely that they have alcohol poisoning and they need attention.  

2. Get Them Away From The Situation

When you realize someone has drank too much, the first thing to do is try and get them out of the room or party they’re in. Help them out if they’re stumble and get them somewhere where you can control the situation. Outside is probably best if it’s not too cold, or a dorm room that’s not packed with people. When you’re moving them, remember to keep them awake and conscious if you can.  

3. NEVER Do These Things

Once you have them in a safe place, there are some things you CAN’T do, such as:  ● Don’t let them sleep it off. Try to keep them awake as long as you can and don’t let them just lay down, thinking they’ll feel better tomorrow. ● Despite it may make sense to you, don’t force them to throw up. Their gag reflex isn’t working properly so it may make them choke on their vomit. ● Try not to walk them around, their sense of direction will be completely off, so unless you can support their whole body weight then it could lead to accidents. ● Don’t give them a cold shower. They might be covered in vomit and it’s okay to give them a shower, but water that is too cold will most likely make their body temperature go even lower, reaching dangerous levels. ● The last one is common sense, but it’s still needed to be said: Don’t give them any more alcohol. At all. Just…don’t. I shouldn’t have to say it but…yeah.

4. What You CAN Do

Keep them awake and sitting up, giving them water if they’re able to drink it. If they pass out, check they’re breathing properly and lie them on their side, while keeping them warm. The last step may be the longest but will guarantee their safety: stay with them. If they’ve passed out that doesn’t mean they still might not throw up, and if no one’s with them, it could mean they might choke on their vomit.   Now while drinking is something fun to do, and you will most likely do it at some point in your college career, remember to know your limits. Once you start to feel dizzy and fuzzy, it’s a pretty good indication to stop. If you actually do want to drink until you’re completely smashed, make sure you have someone that is responsible to take care of you. And if you’re the designated driver or non-drinker of the night, thank you. Your friends will appreciate it. 

As a final warning: DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.

While you may feel you’re okay to drive, it’s not worth anything to risk it. Get someone else to drive you, call a friend, or get an uber or taxi. 

Download uber from the app store :  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/uber/id368677368?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D2

Or call a taxi from where you are :  YellowCab Houston  (713) 236-1111    

Irina Alejandro is a sophomore at the University of Houston, getting a major in political science and two minors women's studies and international affairs. In her spare time she loves singing loudly in the shower, forcing herself to workout, and talking excessively about politics. She also enjoys long walks on the beach, going to PTA meetings and crying over minor inconveniences. If you want to contact her for a date, leave a comment on one of her articles.
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