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Helping drunk friends

What to do when a friend is drunk and out of control!


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health


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If a friend is very drunk they’re not going to be thinking straight. It’s up to you to make sure they get home safe and hopefully they’ll do the same for you if it’s ever needed!

  • In a serious case of drunkenness, a person might lose consciousness (pass out). If this happens, put them in the recovery position (lying on their side), check that they’re breathing and that nothing is blocking their mouth (such as vomit or an ice cube) and call for help on 999 or 112.
  • Don’t leave the unconscious person, make somebody else go and call an ambulance if you can’t wake them up.
  • If your friend isn’t breathing they need immediate help. Get someone to call an ambulance and shout for help from anyone who has first aid training.
  • If your friend is vomiting constantly or choking when they vomit then stay with them and get someone else to call an ambulance.
  • Try not to let drunken friends leave on their own or with a stranger. Insist on staying with them until you’re sure they get home safely. Do not leave your friend alone when they are drunk.
  • Don’t try to walk the drunk person around.
  • Do not try to lecture the drunk person – confront their behaviour later when they are sober. If you’re worried about a friend drinking too much, talk to them about cutting back on alcohol when they are sober.
  • Do not give the drunk person anything to eat or drink – black coffee and food will not help, and they may choke.
  • For sobering up, there is no substitute for time. It takes as many hours as the number of drinks taken and can take 24 hours or more for the after-effects of alcohol to wear off fully.
  • Don’t let a drunken friend or someone who has recently been drunk, drive home. Hide the car keys if you need to.
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Published September 8th, 2015
Last updated June 20th, 2017
Tags drink alcohol drugs
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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