Alcohol is a depressant that impacts the whole body, including the central nervous system (the brain), cardiovascular system (the heart), and respiratory system (the lungs and breathing). When someone drinks too much alcohol or too quickly, it can overwhelm or suppress the healthy performance of these systems in the body. This can lead to the person passing out or having alcohol poisoning. A person can die from alcohol poisoning if their respiratory system (breathing) shuts down.
Signs of poisoning include:
Don’t take chances when a life is at stake. If you see any of these symptoms in someone who has been drinking, get medical help as soon as possible.
The position doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s more important to keep their airway open so fluids like vomit can drain from their mouth.
To find out more about how we can help you make a change, or to find an addiction services office near you, please call the 24-hour Help Line, 1-866-332-2322.
For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.
Current as of: August 29, 2019
Author: Addiction & Mental Health, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.