The most important way to recognize alcohol poisoning is to watch the behavior of a person, Henshaw said. Typical signs could include excessive vomiting, unconsciousness, chills, very slow breathing, cold or clammy skin and discoloration of the skin and face.
If someone is displaying these signs, it is important to call 911 immediately, Dempsey said.
“Don’t be afraid to call for help. The police don’t want to get people in trouble, they just want to help the students at ISU,” said Kipp Van Dyke, program coordinator in the dean of students office, who meets with students to discuss safe drinking habits throughout the year.
While on the phone with 911, it is important to put the person on his or her side so he or she doesn’t choke on vomit. Also, make sure someone else is there at all times. Henshaw also said to listen to what the 911 dispatcher has to say.
“You want to avoid giving the person more water or food because they can choke on it,” Henshaw said. “You also don’t want to give them a shower because it can send them into shock.”
If someone has been drinking, don’t leave his or her side, Dempsey said. He said people will not get in trouble if they call for help and shouldn’t leave their friend because they fear that happening.
Van Dyke said to really understand how to prevent alcohol poisoning, people have to understand what alcohol does to their individual bodies. People should know how their body metabolizes the alcohol and should track the amount they drink.