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Skidmore College
Health Services

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is the leading cause of preventable death among undergraduate college students. The definition of binge drinking is "having five or more drinks at a time or drinking to intoxication".

Binge drinking involves:

  • Drinking to "get drunk"
  • Regularly drinking large quantities of alcohol
  • Drinking alcohol quickly
  • Drinking large quantities of alcohol in a short amount of time

The most serious threat with binge drinking is alcohol poisoning. Alcohol Poisoning is a severe and potentially fatal reaction to an alcohol overdose. When excessive amounts of alcohol are consumed, the brain is deprived of oxygen and functions that regulate breathing and heart rate may shut down. In addition to alcohol poisoning, binge drinking can result in vomiting, loss of sensory perception, and black outs.

When a person is known to have consumed large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time and the person:

  • Is unconscious and cannot be woken.
  • Has cold, clammy unusually pale or bluish skin.
  • Is breathing slowly or irregularly - usually this means less than 8 times a minute or 10 seconds or more between any two breaths.
  • Vomits while passed out and does not wake up during or after

They are very likely suffering from alcohol poisoning

If you think someone is suffering from alcohol poisoning don't worry about what the person will think when they sober up, do something right away!

Call Campus Safety X5566
If you are on campus call campus safety and use a land line instead of a cell phone if you can. This allows campus safety to immediately identify your location and help will arrive faster.
If you are off campus, call 911!

While waiting for emergency personnel, gently turn the intoxicated person on their side and maintain that position by placing a pillow in the small of the person's back. This is important to prevent aspiration (choking) should the person vomit. Stay with the person until medical help arrives.

If you or someone you know is a binge drinker you can contact:

Counseling Center -580-5555

Student Health Services -580-5550

Health Promotions -580-5684

All three offices are located on the first floor of Jonsson Tower