It sounds like an exaggeration, but knowing how to take care of a drunk person can be a matter of life and death. When someone consumes too much alcohol, there is a risk of suffering or causing accidents, ending up with a case of intoxication or even choking on their own vomit when sleeping. To prevent this from happening to a friend or relative of yours (or even a stranger), learn to spot the red lights, take care of the person's safety, and take appropriate steps to sober up.
Method 1 of 3: Seeing if the person is safe
Step 1. Ask the person how much they drank
You have to know what and how much alcohol the person drank to formulate a good action plan. It all depends on the type and volume, the size of the person, their tolerance level and food (whether they ate anything before getting drunk). Maybe she just needs sleep, but you can't know for sure.
- Ask something like "How are you? Do you know how much you drank? Did you eat something today?" to get a general idea of the situation. If the person has had more than five drinks on an empty stomach, they probably need medical attention.
- If the person is incoherent and cannot understand what you are saying, it may be that they are intoxicated. In that case, take her to the emergency room as soon as possible. Also, don't drive if you've been drinking. Call an ambulance or get a ride from someone you trust and who is sober.
Heads up: it is rare to happen, but it may be that someone has "baptized" the drink of the person who left it that way. You need to know what she took to determine if that's the case or not. For example, no one goes "crazy" after having a glass or two of wine. Go to the emergency room immediately.
Step 2. Explain what you intend to do before touching or getting close to the drunk person
Depending on how drunk a person is, they may be confused and disoriented and not even understand what they are doing. Besides, maybe she's not being able to reason well and is even a little violent. Always announce all your actions.
- If the person is kneeling in front of the toilet and having trouble getting anything done, say something like "I'm here if you need help. I'll hold your hair."
- Do not touch or try to move the person without asking permission.
- If the person is passed out, try waking him up so that he regains consciousness with something like "Are you okay?"
- If the person doesn't respond to anything you say and appears unconscious, call the fire department immediately.
Step 3. Look for signs of intoxication
Alcohol intoxication can be fatal when not treated promptly and correctly. If the person's skin is pale, cold, or clammy and their breathing is irregular, call the fire department or take them to an emergency room immediately. There are also other signs, such as vomiting, general confusion and loss of consciousness.
The person may be at risk of death if they have seizures. Be agile: call the fire department or take her to the emergency room as soon as possible
Step 4. Take the person to a safe place to avoid accidents
If you know the person, try to take them home so they can stay sober and not suffer or cause any accidents. If you don't know and are out in public, try to find a friend or relative of hers who can help. If the situation is too tense, she needs to move to a quieter, more secure point.
- Don't drive if you've also had a drink and never let the drunk person get in the car. Create a driver-of-the-round system or use a hitchhiking app like Uber or 99Pop.
- Go to a place where the person feels comfortable and safe, such as your home, theirs, or a mutual friend.
Method 2 of 3: Helping the Person Sleep Well
Step 1. Never let the drunk person sleep unsupervised
The person's body will continue to absorb alcohol even when he is asleep or passed out - which can lead to intoxication. She can also choke on her vomit if she sleeps in the wrong position. Never leave anyone in this state alone.
Tip: Intoxication has the following signs: pale or clammy skin, loss of consciousness, vomiting and slow or irregular breathing. If the person has any of them, take them to the emergency room immediately.
Step 2. Place the person to sleep on their side, with a pillow behind their back
If the person doesn't appear to be at risk of intoxication, perhaps they can sleep to recover and eliminate all the alcohol in their blood. On the other hand, she may end up choking on her own vomit. Put her to sleep on her side and support a pillow on her back to prevent her from shifting.
- The person has to sleep in a position where he can vomit out.
- The fetal position is the most correct at these times.
- Place another pillow in front of the person to prevent them from rolling over onto their stomach and ending up having difficulty breathing.
Step 3. Wake the person every five to ten minutes for the first hour of sleep
A person's body will have to process alcohol even after they stop drinking. Meanwhile, her blood alcohol content may increase during sleep. So wake her up every five to ten minutes for the first hour.
Then you can start seeing how the person is once an hour (if everything looks good)
Step 4. Have someone watch the person all night long
If the person is very drunk, they will need constant monitoring to avoid becoming intoxicated or choking on their own vomit. Someone has to closely monitor the situation.
- If you don't know the person, ask if you can call someone you know.
- Never let one drunk person take care of another. There must always be someone sober around.
- If you're in a bar or restaurant and you don't know the person, talk to the staff and ask them to do something. Still, don't leave her until she's safe.
Method 3 of 3: Helping the person stay sober
Step 1. Don't let the person drink more
If a person is already very drunk, he may end up intoxicated if he consumes even more alcohol. In addition, she will lose more and more reason and run the risk of having an accident.
- Be direct and refuse to give the person more alcohol, even if they insist. Say something like "Look, I think you've had too much to drink and I'm a little worried. I can't give you anything else."
- Distract the person with a non-alcoholic drink or have them listen to music or watch a movie. At these times, it is important to avoid conflicts.
- If the person refuses to listen to your advice, ask someone close to prevent them from drinking more.
- If the person is uncooperative at all and you think they might turn violent, call the police.
Step 2. Give the person water
Alcohol dehydrates the body, while water helps dilute its concentration in the bloodstream and thus sober up in less time.
- Give the person a glass of water before he goes to bed.
- Also give an isotonic, such as Gatorade, to replenish the sodium and electrolytes she lost while drinking.
Step 3. Give the person something to eat
Fatty foods, such as hamburgers and pizza, help reduce the effects of alcohol and slow down the absorption of the substance. On the other hand, make no mistake: eating does not reduce the blood alcohol content, even if it has a positive effect.
- Don't give the person too much food or they may end up vomiting. A hamburger and some fries are fine, but a whole pizza is unhealthy.
- If the person doesn't have a very big appetite, give him some savory appetizer.
Step 4. Avoid giving coffee to the person as much as possible
Many people believe that drinking coffee helps to reduce the effects of alcohol, but it does not reduce the content of the product in the bloodstream - despite making the person alert. Furthermore, the caffeine in coffee dehydrates the body and thus limits processing capacity and increases the negative effects of a hangover.
Black coffee can irritate the stomach and make a person vomit if they are not used to it
Tip: If you are afraid that the person will fall asleep, give them a cup of coffee. Also, have her drink at least a glass of water to control dehydration.
Step 5. Don't try to force the person to vomit
Forcing the person to vomit won't reduce the alcohol content in their blood, and it will also decrease fluid levels, leaving them dehydrated. In turn, her body will take longer to process and filter the alcohol from her body.
If the person feels like vomiting, stay with them to avoid accidents. Vomiting is the body's natural mechanism for expelling alcohol
Step 6. Wait until the person is sober
When alcohol enters the bloodstream, the only way to get it out is to wait for the body to process and filter all of the substance. The body takes about an hour to process a drink. Several factors determine the exact speed of this, but there is no other solution.