Treating Alcohol Poisoning at Home – What You Need to Know

Alcohol poisoning is a serious issue that can often be overlooked. You need to be aware of the symptoms to know how to act if you or someone you know is experiencing it. This blog will provide you with the information you need to understand and treat alcohol poisoning safely.

Quick facts: Treating Alcohol Poisoning At Home

  • ✅ Alcohol poisoning is the most preventable form of poisoning- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • ✅ Early recognition and treatment of alcohol poisoning is essential- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
  • ✅ Alcohol poisoning causes more than 2,200 deaths annually in the United States- CDC
  • ✅ Alcohol poisoning is more common among adolescents and college-aged adults- NIAAA
  • ✅ Alcohol poisoning can lead to permanent brain damage- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

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Alchol poisoning is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. If you suspect that someone has consumed too much alcohol, it is vital that you seek medical help immediately.

In this article, we will discuss what you can do at home to provide care and support until emergency medical services arrive:

Definition of Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning is a serious and potentially fatal condition caused by the overconsumption of alcohol. It is the result of drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time, or binge drinking.

When alcohol is consumed, it is broken down by the body and absorbed into the blood stream, where it can have a range of effects on the body, including slowing down brain activity and impairing motor skills.

When someone consumes too much alcohol in too short a time frame, their central nervous system becomes depressed and they could fall unconscious or suffer seizures or other life-threatening conditions. Alcohol poisoning can also lead to cardiac arrest (the heart stops pumping blood around the body). If left untreated, it can be fatal.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Pale or blue-tinged skin
  • Stupor (unresponsiveness)
  • Low body temperature

These signs and symptoms may indicate that an individual’s blood alcohol concentration is dangerously high, which can lead to coma or death if untreated. If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning then it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

It is important to note that not everyone will display the same signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning. Some may seem sleepy or drowsy while others may experience changes in their heart rate and breathing. Others may display extreme confusion, unresponsiveness to stimuli, slurring of speech and an inability to stand up without assistance. It is also possible for someone experiencing alcohol poisoning to slip into a coma in a very short period of time. If these signs are present then you should seek medical attention right away.


Treatment for alcohol poisoning is a two-step process – managing the symptoms and ensuring the person is no longer in danger from alcohol poisoning. The first step is to ensure the person is kept safe by monitoring their breathing, checking for vomiting, and providing a supportive environment.

Here we will discuss the additional steps that can be taken to treat alcohol poisoning at home:

Call 911

It’s essential to call 911 if you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning. Without medical help, complications like breathing issues, seizures, dehydration, coma, and death can occur. Alcohol poisoning is a life-threatening medical emergency that requires prompt treatment from a medical professional. If there are any signs of an irregular heartbeat, confusion, or loss of consciousness; don’t wait for symptoms to escalate and call for help right away.

A trained medical professional is the best person to offer treatment for alcohol poisoning and can determine if the individual needs oxygen or medical support for breathing problems. The 911 operator may also instruct you on how to care for the patient until help arrives, such as:

  • How to keep them safe from choking on their vomit
  • How to prevent them from falls

Do not attempt to make the person vomit

When a person has consumed too much alcohol and is in danger of alcohol poisoning, it may be tempting to try to make the person vomit. This can be very dangerous, as many people in this state are already at risk of choking on their own vomit or having another type of accident. It’s best to avoid trying to make someone vomit if they have been drinking heavily and are exhibiting signs of alcohol poisoning – such as slurred speech, confusion, vomiting, or difficulty breathing. Seek medical attention instead.

One symptom that should not be treated with vomiting is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). When someone has been drinking heavily and his or her blood sugar is low, you should offer them a sugary snack or drink. Never try to make the person vomit in this case – it could worsen their condition.

Monitor the person’s breathing

Monitoring the person’s breathing should be a top priority to assess if alcohol poisoning is present. Take note of how many breaths the person takes per minute, as well as the depth and regularity of their breathing. Normal breathing should be relatively deep and slow, with 8-12 breaths per minute.

If you notice that the person’s breath rate is much slower or more shallow than this, call for emergency medical assistance immediately. The presence of shallow or slow breathing can be a sign of alcohol poisoning and may indicate that alcohol has depressed the central nervous system’s respiratory functions, leading to serious medical complications.


It is important to be aware of the risks of alcohol poisoning and how to prevent it from occurring. Being aware of the signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning is key to prevention. Knowing your limits and avoiding binge drinking is also important to prevent alcohol poisoning. Additionally, it’s important to know what to do in case of an emergency. Let’s explore further how to prevent alcohol poisoning:

Drink in moderation

Drinking in moderation is the primary and most important way to prevent alcohol poisoning. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines a standard drink as one that contains 14 grams of pure alcohol. That’s equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits such as vodka or whiskey. Consuming more than these amounts can cause alcohol poisoning if consumed in a short period.

If you plan on drinking, it’s best to have no more than two drinks per hour, with non-alcoholic beverages between alcoholic drinks to keep your blood alcohol content from rising too quickly and lead to alcohol poisoning.

Avoid binge drinking

Binge drinking is the consumption of large quantities of alcohol over a short period. It increases your risk of accidental poisoning due to the greater alcohol intake. Binge drinking can result in serious health problems like organ damage, memory loss and anemia. It can also lead to alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that can be fatal if not treated quickly.

The best way to avoid others suffering from alcohol poisoning is to refrain from binge drinking. Drink responsibly, and always know how much you are consuming. Drinking too quickly or too much can be dangerous and increase your risk of alcohol poisoning, especially when mixed with other drugs or medications. Pay attention to how much you drink and keep track of your drinks by counting or by alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks throughout the night.

Keep an eye on your friends

The best way to prevent alcohol poisoning is to watch your friends when you’re at a party. If you see someone with slurred speech, having trouble standing or walking, or vomiting, it’s important to keep an eye on them and offer help if needed. Pay attention especially if someone has been drinking heavily or is drinking faster than they can handle. Encourage your friends to drink water in between beverages, and make sure nobody gets too drunk too quickly.

It’s important to know the signs of alcohol poisoning so that you can take action if necessary:

  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble standing or walking
  • Vomiting

If someone is displaying signs of alcohol poisoning, do not leave them alone; seek medical attention right away.


In conclusion, alcohol poisoning is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical treatment. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning and to seek help from a medical professional immediately. Home treatment of alcohol poisoning is not recommended, as an individual can easily experience a medical emergency if they do not receive the necessary medical attention.

Seek professional help

It is important to remember that if you suspect someone is showing signs of alcohol poisoning, then you should always seek medical assistance. Trying to treat alcohol poisoning at home can be dangerous. Medical professionals will have the right tools and resources to properly diagnose and treat the person in question. Do not wait or hesitate; seek medical assistance immediately if you believe someone is experiencing alcohol poisoning.

If symptoms persist, it is recommended that victims or their loved ones follow-up with a doctor for further treatment and recovery advice. If not treated, alcohol poisoning can lead to permanent brain damage, coma and even death. It is imperative to understand the risks associated with drinking too much in order to reduce the likelihood of these potentially life-threatening complications from occurring.

Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen

If you suspect that someone may be suffering from alcohol poisoning, it is important to seek medical attention if their symptoms worsen.

Symptoms of severe alcohol poisoning include:

  • Blue-tinged skin
  • Low body temperature (below 95°F)
  • Unconsciousness that cannot be roused
  • Uncontrollable vomiting or seizures
  • Breathing that is slow and shallow
  • A weak and irregular pulse

If any of these symptoms are present in an individual who you believe to have consumed large amounts of alcohol, then it is essential to seek immediate medical care. When an individual with severe alcohol poisoning is not treated immediately by medical professionals, the results can be fatal. Do not attempt to give the person food or fluids and do not assume they will “sleep it off” as this could potentially cause even more dangerous consequences.

By recognizing the signs associated with alcohol poisoning and knowing how to respond properly, it may help save a life.

FAQs about: Treating Alcohol Poisoning At Home

Q: Can I treat alcohol poisoning at home?

A: No, alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment. Do not try to treat alcohol poisoning at home.

Q: What should I do if someone has alcohol poisoning?

A: Call 911 immediately and provide as much information as you can. Do not try to treat alcohol poisoning at home.

Q: What are the symptoms of alcohol poisoning?

A: Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include confusion, vomiting, irregular or slow breathing, pale or clammy skin, seizures, and low body temperature.

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