Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Home remedies for sobering up abound, but most are ineffective, and some can be dangerous. Here's what doesn't work:
- Black coffee
- A cold shower — the shock of cold can cause a loss of consciousness
- Walking it off
- Sleeping it off — you can lose consciousness while asleep
If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning, here's what to do:
- Stay with a person who is vomiting and try to keep him or her sitting up. If the person must lie down, make sure to turn his or her head to the side — this helps prevent choking. Try to keep the person awake to prevent loss of consciousness.
- Don't be afraid to get help for a friend, even if you think it won't be appreciated. It can be difficult to decide if you think someone is drunk enough to warrant medical intervention, but it's best to err on the side of caution. You may worry about the consequences for yourself or your friend or loved one, particularly if you're underage. But, the consequences of not getting the right help in time can be far more serious.
If you're with someone who has been drinking a lot of alcohol and you see any of the following signs or symptoms, call 911 or emergency medical help immediately:
- Unconsciousness, and you can't rouse the person at all
- Slowed breathing (less than 8 breaths per minute)
- Irregular breathing (gaps of 10 seconds or more between breaths)
- Very pale or blue-tinged skin
- Cold skin temperature without a reason
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