Alcohol Awareness

Wellness Services affirms the guiding ethical principle of responsible freedom. Students, staff and faculty are expected to show respect for order, ethical conduct, and the rights of others, and to model in daily living a high sense of personal honor and integrity.


The University of West Florida neither encourages nor condemns the legal consumption of alcoholic beverages. The University recognizes, however, that the majority of undergraduate students are below the legal drinking age and that there are serious health risks and behavior problems associated with the use of alcohol in the collegiate environment.

In support of responsible management of alcohol, the University provides numerous resources and support services available to our students, faculty, and staff.

The mission of Wellness Services is to encourage students to make healthy lifestyle decisions that facilitate academic success and lead to life-long health and wellness. Wellness Services provides quality, evidence-based health promotion programs available to all UWF students.

This website can help you identify signs of alcohol poisoning, discover protective factors to help keep you safe, and learn how to get help for a friend or assess your own drinking behaviors.

Signs & Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

  • The person is known to have consumed large quantities of alcohol
  • The person cannot be awakened
  • Vomiting
  • Vomiting while passed out
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing (fewer than eight breaths per minute)
  • Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
  • Hypothermia (low body temperature), bluish skin color, clamminess, paleness
  • Mental confusion, stupor, or coma

What Should I Do if I Suspect Someone Has Alcohol Poisoning?

  • Know the danger signals
  • Do not wait for all symptoms to be present
  • If there is any suspicion of an alcohol overdose, call 911 for help. Don't try to guess the level of drunkenness
  • Never leave them alone to “sleep it off.” Most people who die from alcohol poisoning were left alone
  • Turn the person on his/her side to keep them from choking on vomit
  • Check their breathing
  • Try to wake them
  • Try the pinch test. If you are unsure if the person is suffering from alcohol poisoning, pinch them hard! If they don’t wake up or respond to your pinch, take action immediately and call 911
  • Be aware that a person who has passed out may die

What Can Happen if Alcohol Poisoning Goes Untreated?

  • Victim chokes on his or her own vomit
  • Breathing slows, becomes irregular, or stops
  • Heart beats irregularly or stops
  • Hypothermia (low body temperature)
  • Hypoglycemia (too little blood sugar) leads to seizures
  • Untreated, severe dehydration from vomiting can cause seizures, permanent brain damage, or death.

Even if the victim lives, an alcohol overdose can lead to irreversible brain damage. Rapid binge drinking (which often happens on a bet, dare, or with drinking games) is especially dangerous because the victim can ingest a fatal dose before becoming unconscious.

Don't be afraid to seek medical help for a friend who has had too much to drink. Don't worry that your friend may become angry or embarrassed. Remember, you cared enough to help. Always be safe, not sorry.