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Immediate care of an intoxicated person

For immediate medical assistance call 314-935-5555 for on-campus help, or 911 from off-campus.

Immediate medical assistance is necessary if the person is:

  • No longer breathing or does not have a pulse
  • Having difficulty breathing (choking, wheezing, or rasping)
  • Breathing irregularly (less than 6x per minute, more than 20x per minute)
  • Unconscious or semiconscious, unable to “wake up”
  • Shaking, or having convulsions or seizures
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Complaining of pressure or tightness in the chest
  • Feverish or having the “chills”
  • Cold or clammy to the touch
  • Pale or bluish in skin tone
  • Unable to stand, walk, or speak without difficulty
  • Vomiting while passed out
  • Unable to control their bodily functions
  • Injured, violent, or threatening
  • Paranoid, confused, or disoriented to person, place, and time
  • At risk of hurting him/herself or others

If immediate medical assistance is not necessary

Continue to monitor them for the above symptoms—it is helpful to enlist the help of friends who can take turns checking up on the person every 30-60 minutes throughout the evening

Don’t give the person any food or liquid (including water) if the person is vomiting or nauseated

Place the person in bed, lying on his/her side

Don’t give the person anything to help them sober up (including aspirin, coffee, tea, soda or a cold shower)

Leave the person’s door open so others can hear sounds of distress

Don’t induce vomiting

Stay with a person who is vomiting to prevent choking

Don’t suggest walking, running, or any other form of exercise

Find out what substances the person has taken so you can give this
information to medical professionals if necessary

Don’t attempt to restrain or argue with an intoxicated person

Be aware that the person may act unpredictably—remember, your safety is your first priority

Don’t keep the person awake