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Acute Alcohol Intoxication in Your Teen: Care Instructions


Your teen has had treatment to help their body get rid of alcohol. Too much alcohol upsets the body's fluid balance, so your doctor may have given your teen fluids and vitamins.

For some people, drinking too much alcohol is a one-time event. For others, it is a long-term problem. In either case, it is serious and can be life-threatening.

Follow-up care is a key part of your teen's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your teen is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your teen's test results and keep a list of the medicines your teen takes.

How can you care for your teen at home?

  • Be safe with medicines. Have your teen take medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse advice line if you think your teen is having a problem with a medicine.
  • If your teen has been given medicine to prevent nausea, be sure your teen takes it exactly as prescribed.
  • Know that your teen could have some symptoms of a hangover in the next few days.
  • Have your teen drink plenty of liquids in the next few days.
  • Get help for your teen. Counselling and support groups can help your teen stop using alcohol. Family counselling is also a good idea.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think your teen may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your teen passes out (loses consciousness).
  • Your teen has trouble breathing.
  • Your teen feels confused or cannot think clearly.
  • Your teen is seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there.
  • Your teen makes threats or attempts to hurt themself.
  • Your teen has a seizure.
  • Your teen vomits blood or what looks like coffee grounds.

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your teen can't stop vomiting.
  • Your teen has symptoms of dehydration, such as:
    • Dry eyes and a dry mouth.
    • Passing only a little urine.
    • Feeling thirstier than usual.
  • Your teen has new or worse symptoms of alcohol withdrawal such as:
    • Trembling, restlessness, or sweating.
    • Anxiety or feeling tense and edgy.
    • Headache or fast or irregular heartbeats.

Watch closely for changes in your teen's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • Your teen does not get better as expected.
  • Your teen needs help to stop drinking.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.