Hopefully we all know the “safe” amounts of alcohol which to drink but do you know how to spot the signs of alcohol poisoning, the result of a person drinking so much alcohol in a short space of time that in worse case scenarios can lead to one falling into a coma or perhaps even death?

I’ve had suspected alcohol poisoning twice in my lifetime, once as a baby when my slightly older sister poured cologne all over me (many household products contain alcohol so you have to keep them safe and out of the reach of children at all times) and once as a seventeen year old whose intention was to get drunk, very, very drunk and that pretty much put me off alcohol for the rest of my life, if you ask me it was a good lesson learned early on.

Alcohol poisoning is an overdose of alcohol usually brought on through binge drinking, if you drink enough alcohol and your body doesn’t have enough time to filter it out if your blood then the result is an alcohol overdose AKA alcohol poisoning.

This can be life threatening as the areas of the brain that control a persons life support like breathing, heart-rate and temperature control can start to shut down.

An overdose can cause permanent brain damage or even kill a person.

The risk of overdose can be increased if you drink while taking medication, even over the counter allergy medicines can increase this risk.

But what are the tell-tale signs that somethings had far too much macho juice and may well need urgent medical attention?

Spot the signs of alcohol poisoning

The amount of alcohol that can lead to an overdose will vary based on many factors such as sex, age, food eaten, general health and how fast a person has been drinking.

Spot the Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

The signs and symptoms you need to look out for include:

  • Severe slurring of speech
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Lack or loss of co-ordination
  • Unresponsive while conscious
  • Low body temperature and skin turning blue or pale
  • Passing out
  • Slow and/or irregular breathing
  • Losing control of bladder and bowels

If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning then you need to help them ASAP with the following:

The Dos


  1. Call an ambulance and stay with them to monitor their condition.
  2. Keep them sat up and awake.
  3. If they’ve passed out check that they’re breathing properly and place them in the recovery position.
  4. Give them a drink of water if they’re able to drink (DO NOT offer anything else to drink).
  5. Make sure you keep them warm.


The Don’ts


  • DON’T leave them to sleep it off. Alcohol will continue to flood into their system even after stopping drinking.
  • DON’T give tham anything to drink other than water. Coffee will dehydrate them more and severe dehydration can cause brain damage.
  • DON’T walk them around. The alcohol slows a brain down and also affects a presons sense of balance soi this could likely cause an accident.
  • DON’T make them sick. The gag reflex may not be working properly after a large intake of alcohol and this could present a choking hazard.
  • DON’T Put them into a cold shower! Moving them poses an injury risk so just don’t do it. Alcohol inhibits your bodys internal thermostat so a cold shower could lead to hypothermia, it’s better to put them in the recovery position in a safe place.
  • DON’T let them drink any more alcohol. Obvious this but they’ve already got a dangerous amount of alcohol in their system, don’t make it even worse.


As long as there are people drinking then there’s a risk of alcohol poisoning happening as well as the other health risks associated with drinking. If you do drink remember to stick to the healthy guidelines (14 units a week or less) and never binge drink.

If you or someone you care about is having any problems with alcohol then feel free to check out our tips, blogs and resources here at Sober Bubble and help yourself to get on the sober journey you deserve.