San Dieguito Alliance For Drug Free Youth
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San Dieguito Alliance for Drug Free Youth

PO Box 2448
Del Mar, CA 92014

Alcohol and Teens


Signs of alcohol overdose can include vomiting, disorientation, difficulty focusing the eyes, sweating, slurred speech, pale and clammy skin, falling down, slowed breathing, and passing out. However, not all the symptoms need to be present to indicate an alcohol or other drug case.

The victim should not be given coffee, water or food, be put to bed to "sleep it off" or be allowed to go out alone to "get some air." Onlookers should immediately call 911 for an ambulance, which can deliver oxygen to the victim on the way to the emergency room. Someone should stay with the victim to inform hospital personnel that this is an alcohol overdose. The signs are very similar to a drug overdose, but the treatment is different.

There is no antidote, but doctors can pump the stomach, restart a failed heartbeat, supply oxygen, and monitor breathing. Half of these victims die (an estimated 4,000 annually) if too much alcohol was imbibed in a short period of time. The liver processes only one drink an hour.

  • People who start using alcohol at 16 or younger are 4 times more likely to become problem drinkers or alcoholics.
  • Alcohol related accidents are the leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 24 years.
  • Alcohol is a depressant and slows reactions, dulls the brain, and affects coordination despite the feeling of the "buzz" or "high" of the drinker.
  • Alcohol affects the higher centers of the brain that control thinking, speaking, memory, concentration, mood, judgment and behavior.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption within a short period of time (ie. binge drinking, chugging, drinking from "beer bongs") can cause death as a result of the body not being able to process the alcohol quickly enough.
  • Studies of college students show that the higher their alcohol consumption, the lower their grade point average.
  • A 12 ounce can of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1 shot of whiskey all contain about the same amount of alcohol and will have the same effect.