Why and How You Should Help an Intoxicated Person at a Party or Festival

Author : Lydia Castillo
December 30, 2016

Why and How You Should Help an Intoxicated Person at a Party or Festival


If you’re attending a festival, show at a venue or going to a nightclub, chances are that you and your friends will be drinking alcohol at some point during the night. While it is important that someone in your group remain sober if you’re driving to the party, it is also likely that you will be surrounded by friends and strangers who will inevitably consume too much alcohol and become drunk as a result.

By the time someone has become noticeably intoxicated, the alcohol has left their stomach and is being absorbed through the walls of the lower intestine, meaning that they are beyond the point of return. With more than six people dying daily in the U.S. from alcohol poisoning — a total of 2,200 a year a helping hand is always necessary. It’s important that we not only look out for our immediate friends, but also for any strangers that are at the same party or venue. We are all in it for the music and a thriving dance music scene relies heavily on the spirit of love, respect and camaraderie. It can be the difference between life and death.

How To Help

1. Determine how much help they need by directly asking. Be supportive and make them realize why you’re concerned.

If they’re incoherent observe their reactions and emotional signals for clues. Each individual’s situation will vary according to the environment and circumstances, but be prepared to care for them until they’re out of danger.

Discourage digesting more as it will only worsen the situation.

2. Offer a hydrating beverage. Water, coconut water (my go-to), or something with electrolytes.

I personally choose coconut water because it’s loaded with antioxidants that help repair and replenish necessary nutrients that get washed away with the consumption of substances and alcohol. It contains about the same amount of potassium as a banana or twice as much as 8 oz of Pedialyte. I drink 16-32 oz of it depending on how dehydrated I’m feeling.

3. Offer your friend food if they are feeling hungry and believe it will help. Oats, bananas, dates, and leafy greens are recommended.


A hot bowl of oatmeal has plenty of essential nutrients like B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Bananas, dates, and leafy greens contain potassium, an essential electrolyte that is often depleted due to alcohol’s diuretic effect.

Not feeling a salad? Add yogurt, which contains even more potassium, and blend for a hangover-fighting smoothie.

Although eating while drinking is the best way to help diminish a buzz, ensure your friend agrees food will help. I understand it may be hard to find these types of foods at festivals, and especially hard if you’re at a show or nightclub. Luckily these days festivals have plenty of healthy food options available.

Don’t force them to eat as it can cause them to vomit. Fatty foods, contrary to popular knowledge, are better at preventing a hangover than curing one since fried foods are irritants further stress the stomach.

Signs you should look for in case of alcohol poisoning

Please note if they are in need of professional help, contact your local medical forces immediately to save a life.

  • Unconscious or semi-conscious, but cannot be awakened
  • Blue lips and fingertips
  • Dehydration
  • Rapid pulse
  • Vomiting while asleep and not waking up even when vomiting
  • Cold clammy hands and feet.

What Not To Do

  • Do not leave them alone to sleep it off.
  • If you must, place them on their side and lay pillows to support their back. This is essential to avoid any choking in case they puke in their sleep.
  • Do not try to walk it “off”. They could be physically impaired making it more difficult.
  • Do not forcefully pour water into their mouth or over their bodies. Their incoherence could result in more harm than good.


Hangover Preventive Tips

  • Know low-risk alcohol unit guidelines. Do not consume more than 12 cups of 4% beer, six glasses of 13% wine, or 1/4 cup of 40% alcohol at a time.
  • Set a spending limit. Allow yourself only a set amount to spend on alcohol while out so you don’t drink too much in a short space of time.
  • If you plan on having a late night, don’t “pre-game”. Drinking a lot at the start of the night often means cutting it short because you’re too tired – or sick – to stay out.
  • Eat up. Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach is never a good idea. If you know you are going to be drinking, make sure you eat a substantial meal before to avoid any alcohol you do drink going straight to your head.
  • Pace yourself. Make sure you drink at your own pace. Opt out of shots and drink water alongside any alcohol you do drink.
  • Plan your journey home. You’re more likely to drink less if you know you’re getting the last bus or train.

Most importantly, have the common courtesy as a human to lend a helping hand when needed, even and especially if it’s to a stranger who is not getting assistance from anyone around them. It could mean the difference between another night out or a night you utterly regret.

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