Alcohol Poisoning and Amnesty Policy | Drug & Alcohol Prevention | Butler Community College

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Drug & Alcohol Prevention

Alcohol Poisoning and Amnesty Policy

Learn more about Butler’s commitment to safety and support on campus

What is Alcohol Overdose?

Thousands of college students are transported to the emergency room each year for alcohol overdose, which occurs when there is so much alcohol in the bloodstream that areas of the brain controlling basic life-support functions—such as breathing, heart rate, and temperature control—begin to shut down. Signs of this dangerous condition can include the following:

  • Mental confusion, stupor
  • Difficulty remaining conscious or inability to wake up
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing (fewer than eight breaths per minute)
  • Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
  • Slow heart rate
  • Clammy skin
  • Dulled responses, such as no gag reflex (which prevents choking)
  • Extremely low body temperature, bluish skin color, or paleness

Alcohol overdose can lead to permanent brain damage or death, so a person showing any of these signs requires immediate medical attention. Do not wait for the person to have all the symptoms and be aware that a person who has passed out can die. Call 911 if you suspect alcohol overdose. (


Signs and symptoms of alcohol overdose-Use PUBS:

P-Puking while passed out

U-Unresponsive to pinching or shaking

B-Breathing is shallow or absent

S-Skin is clammy or blue


Students who report themselves or another student who is in a drug or alcohol related emergency or state of intoxication to Residence Hall staff, public safety officials, or other college officials, each will be granted amnesty to fines and sanctions, as this may save a life. They will be referred to and required to report to the counselor and complete the appropriate educational program.


Alcohol and You:  An interactive Body

What is alcohol overdose?

Alcohol myths and misconceptions