Myths and Your Body
Myth: You can sober up quickly if you have to.
Fact: Nothing speeds up the sobering up process, not a hot cup of coffee nor a cold shower. Depending on your weight, it takes about 3 hours to eliminate the alcohol content of two drinks.
Myth: Beer doesn’t have as much alcohol as hard liquor.
Fact: Alcohol is alcohol. Standard doses, one 12-ounce can of beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine, one standard shot of 80-proof liquor (either straight or in a mixed drink) have the same amount of alcohol. They are equally intoxicating.
Myth: Drinking isn’t dangerous.
Fact: One in three 18 to 24 year olds admitted to emergency rooms for serious injuries is intoxicated. Alcohol is associated with sexual assaults, suicides, drownings and homicides.
Myth: I can drive after a few drinks.
Fact: About one-half of all fatal traffic crashes among 18 to 24 year olds involve alcohol. The risk of a fatal crash for drivers with positive blood alcohol contents (BACs) compared with other drivers increases with increasing BAC an the risk increases more steeply for drivers younger than age 21 than for older drivers.
[Adapted from Alcohol Myths provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at NIH, https://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/CollegeStudents/alcoholMyths.aspx]
Alcohol negatively impacts at least seven of your major organs: brain, stomach, pancreas, liver, heart, kidneys and lungs. Alcohol is the cause of short-term and long-term damage that may affect your cognitive abilities and body function. The following interactive demonstration by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at NIH highlights the effects of alcohol on one’s body:
Critical Signs of Alcohol Poisoning
- When someone seems confused, is in a stupor, or cannot be awakened (incoherent and/or non-responsive) - You Need to Act!
- When someone is vomiting or is having seizures - You Need to Act!
- When someone is breathing slowly or showing signs of irregular breathing - You Need to Act!
- If someone's body temperature is too cold, the person is turning blue or is uncharacteristically pale in color - You Need to Act!
Concerns with Alcohol Poisoning
- A person can choke on their vomit and suffer from dehydration from vomiting.
- A person's breathing can slow, become irregular, or just stop.
- A person's heartbeat can become irregular, slow down, or stop.
- A person's body temperature can become too low.
- A person can suffer from seizures if their blood sugar level goes too low.
- A person who doesn't have an advocate when suffering from alcohol poisoning can eventually develop brain damage, and if left untreated, die.
- All the signs of alcohol poisoning don't have to be present for the person to be in serious danger.
How You Can Help Someone Suffering from Alcohol Poisoning
- Be Heroic. Be a Saint. Be an Active Bystander.
- Be aware of the danger signs for alcohol poisoning.
- Don't just watch and wait – notice the event, interpret it as a problem, feel responsible to act, know what to do and intervene safely.
- Call Public Safety for help (518-783-2999). Do not hesitate because you don't want to get your friend into trouble. A person with alcohol poisoning IS already in trouble and EVERY SECOND COUNTS!
Siena College’s Welfare of the Community (Amnesty) policy has got your back! It is safe to get help for someone who has had too much to drink, even if you have been drinking too