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Drinking and passing out

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What should you do if your friend or relative passes out from over-drinking? What should you do if you have had a bit too much to drink yourself?

A client of mine told me this story about a friend of hers that needlessly passed away, and I thought that there was a lesson here that we could all benefit from. There is a lot of publicity around the idea of not drinking and driving, but I haven’t seen anything in the media about the potential dangers of drinking and passing out.

If you have taken first aid, you know that when someone is unconscious, that person needs to be placed in the recovery position, or on their side with their head tilted back slightly, but the face pointing towards the floor. The reason for this is to drain any vomit.

My client’s friend responsibly took himself home after drinking too much, laid on his back on his bed, passed out, then suffocated to death on his own vomit. Probably if he had been lying on his side, he would be alive today. So, the moral of the story is, if your friend passes out, place him on his side, face angled towards the floor slightly. You may just be saving a life. And if you think you have had a bit too much to drink, lie yourself down on your side when you go to sleep,
just to be safe.

Perhaps this info should be taught in the schools? What do you think?

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Copyright 2008 Vreni Gurd

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Comments (3)

Submitted by Donald B Ardell on Tue, 04/29/2008 - 2:54pm.

Dear Vreni:

 I enjoy your writing very much.  Nice piece, as usual.  Agree with all the points made.   Next piece, how about addressing what to do about the bigger problem for the person who drinks to the point of passing out, or getting inebriated.  Do you favor any particular program, or do you think some folks can manage a tendency to abuse substances or engage in other harmful, negatively addictive behaviors on their own? 

Thanks.  Keep the good stuff coming.





Donald B. Ardell, Publisher

Submitted by Vreni Gurd on Tue, 04/29/2008 - 10:00pm.

Hi Don,

That said, I think that commonly a tendancy to over-drink is linked to not eating according to one's metabolic type, and frequently decreasing starch and sugar and simultaneously increasing omega 3s (fish oils are best for this) and quality saturated fats (butter, cream, grass-fed meats) will often drastically reduce alcohol cravings, and possibly to the point where the desire to drink simply disappears. (I have noticed that drinking problems seem to be most common in fast oxidizers, and hence that recommendation).

And I think that can go for some other addictions too - eat the right ratio of fats, protein and carbs for one's cells, and each cell gets the nutrition it needs without starving for something, and addictive behaviours become far less pronounced. Don't think this applies to smoking though ...


Vreni Gurd
Health and Vitality Coach
Corrective Exercise Specialist


Submitted by Timothy (not verified) on Sun, 10/26/2008 - 6:15pm.

This a very important story, people don’t realize how vulnerable and at risk they make them selves from drinking too much, situations like this can be very scary. I once passed out from having too much to drink at my birthday party. I was lucky my friends found me because I was in the bathroom; I was very close to choking on my own vomit before they realized what had happened and saved me. I knew what had happened was a cause of my drinking problem which I went to an alcohol rehab centre for soon after and got fixed. But others won’t have that kind of resolve and constantly put themselves at risk, and most people won’t know what to do to save anyone who has passed out, especially if they are drunk as well.

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