To avoid alcohol poisoning:
Jul. 23, 2013
- Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. When you do drink, enjoy your drink slowly.
- Don't drink on an empty stomach. Having some food in your stomach may slow alcohol absorption somewhat, although it won't prevent alcohol poisoning if, for example, you're binge drinking.
- Communicate with your teens. Talk to your teenagers about the dangers of alcohol, including binge drinking. Evidence suggests that children who are warned about alcohol by their parents and who report close relationships with their parents are less likely to start drinking.
- Store products safely. If you have small children, store alcohol-containing products, including cosmetics, mouthwashes and medications, out of their reach. Use child-proof bathroom and kitchen cabinets to prevent access to household cleaners, and keep toxic items in your garage or storage area safely out of reach. Consider keeping alcoholic beverages under lock and key.
- Get follow-up care. If you or your teen has been treated for alcohol poisoning, be sure to ask about follow-up care. Meeting with a health professional, particularly an experienced chemical dependency professional, can help you prevent future binge drinking.
- Vacca VM, et al. Alcohol poisoning. Nursing. 2013;43:14.
- Tonisson M, et al. Acute alcohol intoxication characteristics in children. Alcohol and Alcoholism. 2013;48:390.
- Langhan ML. Acute alcohol intoxication in adolescents: Frequency of respiratory depression. Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2013;44:1063.
- Van Zanten E, et al. Gender, age and educational level attribute to blood alcohol concentration in hospitalized intoxicated adolescents: A cohort study. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. In press. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- Alcohol. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/special_subjects/drug_use_and_dependence/alcohol.html. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- Alcohol. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/alcohol.html. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- Alcohol overdose: The dangers of drinking too much. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AlcoholOverdoseFactsheet/Overdosefact.htm. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- A word about alcohol poisoning. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-poisoning. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- Cowan E, et al. Ethanol intoxication in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- Baum CR. Ethanol intoxication in children: Epidemiology, estimation of toxicity and toxic effects. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- Loukianova LL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 8, 2013.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 10, 2013.
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