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Alcohol Intoxication (cont.)

Home Care for Alcohol Intoxication

The majority of people with simple alcohol intoxication can be cared for by a friend or relative at home.

  • Remove the person from all sources of alcohol. Remove the person from the bar or party. If in a home environment, get rid of all the alcohol.
  • Provide a safe environment (prevent falls, keep away from dangerous machines and objects, keep from driving vehicles).
  • Find out if only ethanol has been ingested. Determine if the person has taken any medications, illegal drugs, or nonethanol alcohols.
  • See if the person is easy to arouse when spoken to or with a slight shake of a shoulder.
  • Make sure that the person's condition is not due to an underlying medical cause or injury. Ask about other conditions and look for any evidence of a head injury or other trauma.
  • Have someone in constant attendance to ensure that the person is improving, and to obtain medical assistance as needed. If the person does not feel comfortable monitoring the condition of the intoxicated person, then it would be best to take the person to the hospital.
  • No medications will speed up the sobering process. Caffeine (by drinking coffee) and cold showers have a minimal and very temporary effect.

NOTE: It is extremely common for an intoxicated person to vomit. However, vomiting more than once may be a sign of head injury or other cause of serious illness. If an intoxicated person vomits more than once and is not completely coherent, then he/she should be taken to the nearest hospital's emergency department for evaluation.

Medical Editor:

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