Medical emergencies can and do happen when someone drinks too much. Anyone who has passed out is at risk for alcohol poisoning.

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

  • The person is unconscious or cannot be woken up
  • They are acting confused
  • Their skin is cold, clammy, or bluish in color
  • Their breathing is slow or irregular
  • They have vomited while passed out

Effects if Untreated

The person may...

  • Choke on their vomit
  • Stop breathing
  • Experience severe dehydration
  • Suffer permanent brain damage
  • Die

What to Do

  • Know the danger signs.
  • Don't wait for all signs or symptoms to appear before seeking help.
  • Call Public Safety at (413) 748-5555.
  • Don't leave the person alone. Stay with them until help arrives.

If you are in a situation where you suspect a friend has alcohol poisoning, don’t let them sleep it off. Anyone with these symptoms needs medical attention. If you’re on the campus, call the Department of Public Safety at (413) 748-5555; if you’re off the campus, call 911.

Am I going to get in trouble if I call for help?

When calling to help a friend who may have had too much to drink, know that you and this friend may have certain immunities from College sanctions. Don't let the possibility that you might get in some small degree of "trouble" stop you from getting help—it's just not worth it.

Read our amnesty policy

Drug Overdoses

All drugs pose the risk for overdose. Some of the symptoms you might see are:

  • Changes in body temperature
  • Sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Passing out/coma
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea

If you suspect a friend has taken drugs and has any of these symptoms OR other symptoms that concern you, get help immediately! Call Public Safety at (413) 748-5555 and let them make the decision as to whether the person needs to be taken to the hospital. If you know what the person took, be honest with anyone responding—it can help save your friend's life.