Center for Health Education & Wellness


Alcohol Related Emergencies

The following situations are indicators that the individual needs IMMEDIATE PROFESSIONAL EVALUATION OR ASSISTANCE

The Individual

  • Is unable to stand or walk, or can do so only with difficulty
  • Is breathing slow (10 or less per minute) and shallow breaths
  • Is passed out or in a stupor
  • Has fever or chills
  • Has difficulty speaking
  • Has an injury
  • Is paranoid, confused, or disoriented
  • Is violent or threatening
  • Appears to be a risk to him/herself or others
  • Appears to be dehydrated, with a bluish tint to the lips and fingernails

Call for Police or Medical Help When

  • You are in doubt about what to do
  • You need transportation to medical facilities
  • The person you are assisting is rowdy or too unruly to handle
  • The person refuses assistance and appears likely to harm him/herself or others
  • The person has been using other drugs
  • The person attempts to drive

When You Call for Help

  • Identify yourself
  • Give your specific location
  • State that you have a problem with someone who has been drinking excessively

 


For the Immediate Care of an Intoxicated Person

What To Do What Not To Do
Stay calm. Assess the situation. DO NOT let your anxiety transfer to the individual in trouble.
Keep your distance. Before approaching or touching the person, explain what you intend to do. DO NOT try to walk, run, exercise the drunk person, or try to keep the person awake; DO NOT permit the person to drive.
Speak in a clear, firm, reassuring manner. DO NOT administer anything orally – food, liquid or drug – to sober the person up. THE ONLY THING THAT WILL SOBER A DRUNK PERSON IS TIME.
If possible, keep the person still and comfortable. DO NOT give the person a cold shower. The shock may cause him/her to pass out and sustain an injury.
Stay with the intoxicated person who is vomiting. Lay the person on his/her side. KEEP THE PERSON FROM SWALLOWING VOMIT. DO NOT attempt to constrain the person without sober assistance.
Monitor the person’s breathing. If they are breathing less than ten breathes per minute, DO NOT LEAVE THEM. DO NOT laugh, ridicule, provoke, anger, or threaten the individual.

Contribute to a big idea. Give to UT.


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System