Syracuse UniversityCounseling Center

Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol Poisoning is a serious medical event that can result in injury, permanent medical complications or even death.  Every year nearly 2,000 college students in the United States die as a result of alcohol poisoning. 

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF ALCOHOL POISONING?

Knowing the signs of alcohol poisoning can help save someone’s life.  There are 4 signs of alcohol poisoning that can easily be remember using the acronym C-U-P-S:

  • C - cold skin
    • Alcohol affects parts of the brain that maintain a healthy body temperature. Too much alcohol can stop this part of the brain from working and can cause your organs to shut down. People with alcohol poisoning can be cold to the touch.
  • U - unresponsive
    • When a person has consumed so much alcohol that they can’t function normally they may not be able to respond to anything. It's like alcohol anesthesia.
  • P - puking
    • Alcohol poisoning causes people to puke. Puking won't lower a person's BAC, but it can make a person even more dehydrated. Alcohol also inhibits a person's gag reflex. This might make a person choke on their own vomit or breath it into their lungs.
  • S - slow breathing
    • Alcohol also affects the part of the brain that regulates breathing. Breaths can become slow, shallow and irregular. A person may even have fewer than 8 breaths per minute. If a person isn't breathing enough, they aren't getting enough oxygen to their brain.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK SOMEONE HAS ALCOHOL POISONING?

If you think someone has alcohol poisoning, you should:

  • Roll the person on their side to prevent them from choking on vomit
  • Stay with the person
  • Call for help
    • DPS @ 711 from campus phone
    •  #74 from a cell phone
    • Syracuse University Ambulance at 315.443.4299.

 


BE Wise