About a half-dozen young people die every year in the U.S. of alcohol poisoning, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These tragic deaths are completely preventable. You can help prevent alcohol poisoning.
Following the alcohol poisoning death of Samantha Spady, her parents established the SAM Spady Foundation. It’s to educate people to the dangers of high risk drinking and the signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning. It alerts people they should never to leave an intoxicated person alone. In addition, people should call 911 if a person ever has any of these symptoms. That is, if the person is
- unconscious or semiconscious
- breathing fewer than ten tomes per minute or is breathing irregularly
- cold, clammy, pale or has bluish skin
- cannot be awakened by pinching, prodding or shouting, or
- vomiting without waking up.
Any intoxication always carries a degree of risk. People who choose to drink should always do so in moderation. The following tips are helpful in drinking sensibly:
- Remember. The amount of pure alcohol in standard drinks is virtually identical. It’s six-tenths of one ounce. When it comes to alcohol, a drink is a drink is a drink. And they are all the same to a breathalyzer.
- Know your limit. If you’re unsure, experiment at home with a responsible person. Most people find that they can consume one drink per hour without any ill effects.
- Eat food while you drink. Food helps slow the absorption of alcohol into your body. Sip your drink. Enjoy savoring its flavors and aromas.
No Drinking Games
- Don’t engage in “chugging” contests or other drinking games.
- Accept a drink only when it fits with your drink spacing schedule. If someone tries to force a drink on you, ask for a non-alcohol beverage instead. If that doesn’t work, “lose” your drink by setting it down somewhere and later leave it.
- Alternate. Having a non-alcoholic drink between alcoholic ones helps you control your blood alcohol content (BAC). So does spacing your alcoholic drinks.
Learn more about standard drinks and why they’re important.
- Stay active. You’ll be more aware of any effects alcohol may be having on you.
- Stick with standard drinks. This makes it easy to space them properly.
- Use alcohol carefully in connection with meds. Learn about any precautions or prohibitions.
- Always remember this. A woman, even the same height and weight as a man, is much more effected by the same amount of alcohol.
If you’re serving as host, always be responsible:
- Create a setting conducive to easy, comfortable socializing. Soft music, low levels of noise, and comfortable seating. This encourages conversation and social interaction rather than heavy drinking.
- Serve food before beginning to serve drinks. This de-emphasizes the importance of alcohol and also sends the message that intoxication is not desirable.
- Have a responsible person serve as bartender. If you ask a friend or relative, make sure that person is not a drink pusher.
- Don’t have an “open bar.” A responsible person should supervise consumption to ensure that no one drinks too much. You have both a moral and a legal responsibility to make sure that none of your guests drink too much.
- Pace the drinks. Serve drinks at regular reasonable intervals. A drink-an-hour schedule is a good guide.
- Push snacks. Make sure that people are eating.
- Be sure to offer a diversity of attractive non-alcoholic drinks. (For many non-alcohol drink recipes, visit Non-Alcoholic Drinks).
- Respect anyone’s choice not to drink. Remember that about one-third of American adults choose not to drink. A guest’s reason for not drinking is the business of the guest only. Be careful not to put anyone on the defense for not drinking.
- End your gathering properly. Decide when you want the party to end and stop serving drinks well before that time. Then begin serving coffee along with substantial snacks. This provides essential non-drinking time before your guests leave.
If our friends use poor judgment we need to step in to prevent them from drinking too much. We really can help prevent alcohol poisoning!