There is a wealth of misinformation on house parties—in terms of both acceptance and laws.
Myth: Kids are too smart to drink in somebody’s home.
Fact: Surveys continue to show that teens and pre-teens drink at house parties more often than any other venue. And it’s illegal.
Myth: Kids are probably safer drinking at a house party than anywhere else.
Fact: House parties don’t happen in a vacuum—kids drive to and from them.
20.1% of South Dakota students reported riding with someone who had been drinking
7.9% admitted to driving after drinking. Drinking and driving is illegal.
Myth: As long as they stick to beer, underage drinking isn’t a problem.
Fact: A 12-ounce can of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, and 1.5 ounces of hard liquor all contain the same amount of alcohol and have the same effects on the body and brain. And, again, underage drinking is illegal.
Myth: Kids are going to drink anyway, so it’s better to open up the house for a party with alcohol.
Fact: Hosting an underage drinking party is illegal. Kids whose parents are firm in their stand against underage drinking are more likely to refuse alcohol and delay their first drinking experience. Be a parent. Take a stand. Say NO to house parties.
The bottom line is, adults have a huge impact on children and teens’ decisions about drinking and other drug use. If kids believe their parents condone underage drinking, they are more likely to drink. If kids know their parents strongly disapprove, they are less likely to drink.
Facts About Alcohol Overdose
Alcohol depresses nerves that control involuntary actions such as breathing and the gag reflex (which prevents choking). A fatal dose of alcohol will eventually stop these functions.
It is common for someone who drank excessive alcohol to vomit since alcohol is an irritant to the stomach. There is then the danger of choking on vomit, which could cause death by asphyxiation in a person who is not conscious because of intoxication.
You should also know that a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can continue to rise even while he or she is passed out. Even after a person stops drinking, alcohol in the stomach and intestine continues to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body. It is dangerous to assume the person will be fine by sleeping it off.
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.
Identifying Alcohol Poisoning
Critical Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning
- Mental confusion, stupor, coma, or inability to wake up
- Slow breathing (fewer than 8 breaths per minute)
- Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
- Hypothermia (low body temperature), bluish skin color, paleness
What Should I Do If I Suspect Someone Has Alcohol Poisoning?
- Know the danger signals
- Do not wait for someone to have all the symptoms
- Be aware that a person who has passed out may die
- If you suspect an alcohol overdose, call 911 for help