Notice C.U.P.S.? Take C.A.R.E.!

If you are experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening emergency or you are in immediate danger, call 911.

Recognize the Warning Signs of Alcohol Poisoning and Know How to Help

Whether you choose to drink or not, you have the power to be a prosocial bystander when you notice someone experiencing alcohol poisoning, a life-threatening medical emergency that occurs when someone has too much to drink. Recognize the warning signs of alcohol poisoning by remembering C.U.P.S. and help by taking C.A.R.E.

Use C.U.P.S. to Recognize the Warning Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol affects the part of the brain that regulates body temperature, so someone who has consumed too much alcohol can feel cold and clammy to the touch and can have blueish or pale skin.

A person experiencing alcohol poisoning has consumed so much alcohol that their body can no longer function normally, so they may pass out and they can’t be woken up.

Vomiting is the body’s way of getting rid of alcohol to avoid death or other serious consequences of drinking too much. However, alcohol poisoning can cause repeated, uncontrollable puking. Additionally, alcohol inhibits a person’s gag reflex, so alcohol poisoning increases a person’s risk of choking on or inhaling their own vomit.

Alcohol also affects the part of the brain that regulates breathing, so someone experiencing alcohol poisoning can have slow, shallow or irregular breathing. If a person isn’t breathing enough, they aren’t getting enough oxygen to their brain or other vital organs. A breath about every five seconds is normal, anything slower than that is cause for concern.

If You Notice Someone with C.U.P.S., Help by Taking C.A.R.E.

  • Call for help right away.
  • Depending on your physical location and comfort level, you have several options when calling for help.
    • Anywhere in the United States, call 911.
    • On or near the Syracuse University campus:
      • call Syracuse University Ambulance (SUA) at 315.443.4299;
      • call the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 315.443.2224, #78 using a cell phone or 711 using a campus landline phone;
      • use the Syracuse University Orange Safe mobile app to contact the Department of Public Safety directly;
      • if nearby, activate one of the Blue Light Alarm Systems located around campus.

Angling the person on their side is the safest position for someone who is unconscious or nearly unconscious, as it keeps their airway open, preventing them from choking on or inhaling their vomit.

Watch for any changes in their status.

Empowered by the University’s Medical Amnesty Policy, both the student who calls for help and the student receiving medical assistance can take action without fear of judgement, as cooperating students are often not referred for a disciplinary process with Community Standards.