Beware of Binge Drinkers

CNN.com recently reported an uptick in binge drinking. Some speculate that it may be caused by the jobless rate and economic woes. Binge drinking can result in alcohol poisoning, which occurs when a lot of alcohol is consumed in a short period of time. With Vegas being the place where people go to let loose and go a little crazy, binge drinking can be a big problem. If you are serving someone who is college-aged or if you find out that your customer may have been playing drinking games or front-loading before going out, then take precautions when serving. Think about how much more to serve and how quickly. You might also want to suggest food or water to help slow down the rate of consumption and absorption.

Why should you worry about binge drinkers and watch for those who may be headed down the path of alcohol poisoning?

  1. Someone who drinks a fatal dose of alcohol will eventually stop breathing.
  2. People, who survive an alcohol overdose, can suffer irreversible brain damage.
  3. A person’s blood alcohol concentration can continue to rise even while unconscious. Even after someone stops drinking, alcohol in the stomach and intestine continues to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.
  4. A person who appears to be sleeping it off may be in real danger.

Critical signs of alcohol poisoning include confusion, passing out and vomiting. The Mayo Clinic offers some additional symptoms and gives suggestions for how to help someone that may be suffering from alcohol poisoning.

Have you ever had a situation where you had to respond to alcohol poisoning? What advice would you give to your colleagues for handling binge drinkers and alcohol poisoning?

© 2010 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada 

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