Alcohol poisoning occurs when someone drinks to the point that their blood alcohol content (BAC) reaches dangerous levels and causes the central nervous system to slow down. Breathing and heart rate become slower and slower, and the person can lose consciousness, slip into a coma and die. If someone is unconscious and begins vomiting, they could choke to death on their own vomit. The severe dehydration of alcohol poisoning can cause seizures or permanent brain damage.

Alcohol poisoning is most likely to happen when someone drinks a large amount of alcohol very quickly. Because the liver can only process roughly 1 drink per hour, a person’s BAC can continue to rise for several hours.

Warning signs of alcohol poisoning:

  • Person cannot be roused (unconscious).
  • Vomiting.
  • Seizures.
  • Slow breathing (fewer than 8 breaths per minute).
  • Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths).
  • Hypothermia (low body temperature), bluish skin color, or paleness.

If you find a friend that has any of these symptoms, call 911.


For most people, the holiday season is a time of joy and happiness, filled with parties, presents and family functions.  For some, however, this time of year can be hard to bear.  Whether it’s because of stress, loneliness or anxiety about the future, holiday depression can happen to anyone at any time.

A recent article on highlights some important facts about holiday depression. These include:

  • Seniors are more prone to holiday depression.
  • Women are more susceptible to holiday depression than men.
  • Depression and suicide rates are at their highest during the holidays.
  • People who don’t view themselves as depressed (but actually are) have a tendency to be stressed, drink more alcohol, eat too much food, and may have headaches or difficulty sleeping.
  • Post-holiday sadness can occur after all the festivities are over.

What to do about holiday depression:

First off, if you feel that you’re depressed, do everything possible to not be alone for the holidays!  Other ways to fight depression include listening to non-holiday music, simplifying your gift-card or gift-giving routine, scaling back on decorating, and more.

Remember, if you or someone you know is suffering from depression, whether or not it’s related to the holidays, it’s never too late to seek help.  Even if you don’t contact Turning Point Centers, we encourage you to seek help from a proper treatment facility.

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