Teens Curriculum – What is Alcohol Poisoning?

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Video for teens: What Is Alcohol Poisoning?Download PDF Version

Goal and Rationale

The goal of this video, “What is Alcohol Poisoning”, from our teens series is to teach teens what alcohol poisoning is, how alcohol poisoning can be dangerous, and how they can make the right choices when it comes to identifying and rejecting alcohol.

By the end of this activity, we hope that teens will be able to:

  • Define what alcohol poisoning is.
  • Explain how alcohol poisoning can be dangerous.
  • Determine the different symptoms of alcohol poisoning.
  • Consider the short and long-term effects that alcohol poisoning can have on people.
  • Brainstorm the different ways that alcohol poisoning can impact them and their bodies.

Suggested procedure for educators

This video is six minutes and sixteen seconds long, as you show the video to your students, pause the video at the 3:00 point to ask students the following questions:

Answer: Also known as alcohol overdose, is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when a person consumes a large amount of alcohol in a short time. Their body may be unable to process it effectively, which causes harmful toxins to accumulate in the bloodstream.

Answer: Some symptoms include: confusion, vomiting, seizures, slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute), irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths), blue-tinged or pale skin, and low body temperature (hypothermia).

Answer: If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical help immediately.

Answer: As a gauge, a pattern of heavy drinking is when a male rapidly consumes five or more alcoholic drinks within two hours, or a female rapidly consumes at least four drinks within two hours.

Answer: Some factors include: Your body size and weight, how healthy you are in general, whether or not you’ve had a meal lately, if you’ve taken any other drugs along with alcohol, how strong the drinks you’re having are, how quickly you’re drinking and how much you’re having, and how much you’re used to drinking, your tolerance level.

After discussing these questions with your students, resume the video. When the video ends, have students answer the following questions:

Answer: Stay with them, because there’s a risk they could choke on their own vomit or stop breathing. Sit them up if they’re awake or put them in the recovery position if they’ve passed out, and check that they’re breathing properly. Do not let them drink more alcohol. It might seem like it would help, but it can actually make things worse. Do not try to make them vomit. This won’t help and could actually make things worse.

Answer: Some steps include: Before and while drinking: eating food (especially protein) slows down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. Avoid mixing alcohol with other drugs, avoid “mega” drinks, drink a large glass of water between drinks, set your limit before you start, and avoid drinking games.

Answer: There is a 100% proof prevention method, and it’s not to drink alcohol. Live a drug-free life.

Once your students have answered questions 1-8, proceed to a large group discussion using the thematic questions below. Depending on the grade level or age group of your students, you can expect this entire activity including the video to take between 20-30 minutes.

Discussion questions

Note: the sample answers below represent potential correct answers and can be used to facilitate deeper discussion with your students.

Answers will vary but could include: that alcohol poisoning is an overdose of alcohol that can kill us, and we need to be aware of the different things that can lead us to overconsuming alcohol.

Answers will vary but could include: things we should do include staying with them, because there’s a risk they could choke on their own vomit or stop breathing and sitting them up if they’re awake or put them in the recovery position if they’ve passed out, and check that they’re breathing properly. Things we shouldn’t do include not letting them drink more alcohol. It might seem like it would help, but it can actually make things worse. Do not give them coffee or drinks with caffeine, as it makes them more dehydrated. Do not put them in a cold shower or bath. This could cause them to get too cold or fall and get hurt.

Answers will vary but could include: anxiety, determination, confusion, fear, sadness, uncertainty, pride, excitement, and/or hope.

Answers will vary but could include: that alcohol poisoning can happen to anyone of us, that it only take four or five drinks before it can happen, that factors like how fast you are drinking, what kinds of drinks your drinking, and we need to pay attention to those factors to protect ourselves.

Answers will vary but could include: this video helped me understand that alcohol poisoning is way more dangerous and common than I thought, I think I will wait to drink alcohol until I am older and more mature.

Note: Teachers, please have your students share their feedback with us using the form linked below, we want to continue to make our message stronger and more effective. Thanks!

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