Keeping your friends safe when they’ve had too much to drink

University can be a time when many students let loose and go wild, with some choosing to go a little more wild than others. Here’s some advice if you ever find yourself in a situation where it’s your friend who went too hard too fast.

The first thing you should do is get them to stop drinking. If they’re in danger, the last thing they need is more alcohol in their system. There are a few ways you can do this; sometimes a simple, “I’m worried about you, you’re cut off,” will do. Occasionally you’ll be required to be more creative. Don’t be afraid to lie to them in order to do this — odds are they won’t remember in the morning — and if they do, they’ll probably be thankful.

The next thing to do is to get your drunk friend hydrated. A bottle of water is great, but a bottle of Gatorade is better. This will do two things: it will give your friend a chance to sober up a bit and the more hydrated they are, the better they’ll feel in the morning. If you do not know what other substances they have consumed, contact medical help before administering water yourself as it could be hazardous.

It’s important that you don’t leave your friend alone. They may want to wander off or go for a walk. There’s nothing wrong with this and it might even be good to get them away from the party, but it is important that they aren’t left alone. Walk with them and keep them away from any serious hazards.

Make sure that your drunk friend gets home safely. If they live nearby, walk them back to their room. If not, call an Uber or a taxi and take them home. Your friend might want to stay, and once again, it’s okay to be firm and tell them the party’s over. Try your best to get them home, but at the end of the day, their decisions are their own. If you’re worried about safety walking home, you can call campus security at any time either from your phone (905) 688-5550 ext. 3200), the Brock mobile app, or any of the emergency phones located across campus.

Make sure your drunk friend gets to bed safely. There are a couple things you can do from here. Your friend might have sobered up by now and decide to go to bed, which is fine. Just remind them to sleep on their side in case they throw up in their sleep, and get them a glass of water to keep beside their bed. If your friend is still intoxicated you might want to keep them awake for a while. Order food, watch a movie, stay up and talk. It will be easier to spot signs of alcohol poisoning if your friend is up and talking.

If at any point your drunk friend becomes unresponsive, call for an ambulance and get them somewhere safe. Try to keep them awake. Be prepared to answer questions about how much your friend had to drink and if they took any other substances. Once again, you will not get in any trouble for telling the paramedics this information.

If at any point your drunk friend is too difficult for you to deal with, it’s okay to call for help. Whether that be recruiting another friend to watch them, calling for a don if you live on campus, or seeking medical attention.

More than likely, your drunk friend will be alright and probably won’t get to that point of intoxication, but if they do, it’s okay to acknowledge how you feel. Take care of yourself too, talk to someone in the morning if it helps. Sometimes just admitting that what happened was scary can be enough to make you feel better about the situation. Talk to your friend in the morning, let them know what happened and hopefully it won’t happen again.

Taking care of a drunk friend can be a pain and hopefully you don’t have to do it too often (or at all) but if you find yourself in that situation, the most important thing is to stay calm and keep your friend safe.


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