10 ways to avoid alcohol poisoning


Irresponsible drinking could lead to serious injury and even death.

Early on the morning after my 21st birthday, I woke up full of confusion as I slowly became aware of my surroundings. Everything smelt so clean, yet there was an unavoidable hint of urine and vomit in the air. My clothes seemed to have gone missing and in their place was an oversized blue gown. Tossing in the railed bed that I lay in, I located my roommate and best friend by my side and immediately blurted out, “What are we doing in the hospital?!”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost each year in the United States from 2006 – 2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years.”

My birthday binge led to me being diagnosed with acute alcohol intoxication. While drinking with friends can be fun, it is important to remember that there are limits and that pushing them could lead to hospitalization and even death.Choose to drink responsibly and maybe even save a life with these simple guidelines.


Designate a Driver

Drinking and driving is never a good idea. Before going out to drink, make sure that you know how you will be getting home. Whether you designate a responsible friend or call up a cab, be sure that you have a plan.

Fuel Up

The combination of alcohol and an empty stomach is sure to lead to disaster. If you intend to drink, make sure that you eat a hearty meal ahead of time. Having food in your stomach will help to absorb some of the alcohol and will slow its effects.


Alcohol dehydrates your body. Balance your alcoholic beverages with water, juice, or soda. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

Get Up and Stay Up

Try to avoid sitting while you are drinking as it is harder to feel the effects of alcohol when you are sitting down. Make it a point to get up and walk around as this will allow you to better gauge how drunk you are.

Know Your Limits

If you are unsure how much alcohol you can handle, don’t push yourself. Remember that once you pass your limit, there is no turning back. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Just Say No

It is OK to say no to alcohol, even if it’s being offered to you for free. If you don’t feel like drinking, stand up for yourself. You have the right to make decisions regarding your own body.

Don’t Instigate

On the flipside, remember that it’s OK for your friends to say no as well. Respect other people’s boundaries and accept that they may not want to drink as much as you or they may not even want to drink at all.

It’s Not a Competition

There will always be someone who can drink more than you or faster than you, but at the end of the day none of that matters. Focus on yourself, on having fun, and most importantly on being safe.

Pace Yourself

Even if you have a high tolerance for alcohol, binge drinking is unsafe and usually ends badly. Take your time and you’ll have a much higher chance of making it through the night.

Alcohol isn’t the Answer

When life throws obstacles in your path, rest assured that alcohol will only add to your sorrows. While drinking can make you temporarily forget your problems, they’ll still be there when you sober up and chances are you may have created even more problems in your emotional drunken state.