Alcohol Q & A


Q: What goes first when you are drinking?

A: Inhibitions.
What this means: When people lose their inhibitions, you might see them talking more easily, feeling friendlier, becoming less shy, being more relaxed. This state can be reached easily, usually after a couple of drinks.
What you can do: Let your friend know that buzzes can last a while. Don’t encourage them to drink more, faster and quicker.

Q: What is the next thing to go when you are drinking?

A: Reasoning and Judgment
What this means: When people have a decrease in reasoning and judgment ability, you might see someone becoming lewd or moody, being more raucous or obnoxious, becoming more forgetful, or doing things he or she would not normally do.
What you can do: Try no to reason with this friend at this stage. It may be easier to distract them to do something else. Offer food, encourage non-alcoholic beverages, do something else besides have another drink.

Q: What does it mean when someone starts getting really loud when they are drinking?

A: It means that their sensory functions are impaired.
What this means: When people lose sensory functions, they have less sensitivity to pain, they may not be able to feel their tongues or teeth, and they misjudge distances. Eye and hand coordination is impaired, as well as general fine morot skills.
What you can do: Try to get them to slow down or stop drinking. Get help from other less impaired friends. If this person continues to drink, things can become dangerous.

Q: Why is it important for someone to stop drinking once they are slurring their speech and staggering?

A: It is important because the person is losing control of theirmuscular coordination.
What this means: It means that alcohol has depressed the parts of the brain that control gross motor movements. This person may albo be exhibiting aggressiveness, spilling drinks, or frequently falling down. If this person continues to drink, your friend may pass out from too much alcohol in his or her system.
What you can do: Get help, even if you think it’s not necessary. Take the drink away from this person if you can safely do so. Do not leave this person alone. This is when accidents of negligence happen. Be responsive to, not responsible for, your friend.

Q: What’s the problem with letting someone sleep it off?

A: If the person has passed out, alcohol has affected the involuntary nervous system.
What this means: The person has had so much to drink that alcohol can shut down the part of the brain that controls vital functions like breathing and heartbeat.
What you can do: Get help immediately! Bring the person to the Health Center or call 9-911 to have the person transported to the hospital.

Brought to you by the Williams College Health Center and Project ADVANCE.