Activity Overview

Recognizing the signs of an overdose can be a lifesaving skill for someone in need of help. Alcohol is one of the top drug choices for teens, making teens at high risk for over-consumption of alcohol. More readily available that other kinds of drugs and often done in secrecy by underage drinkers, teens may be hesitant to call for help and more likely to drink too much.

Combining binge drinking with inexperienced teens in unsupervised settings is a recipe for disaster. Learning how to recognize alcohol poisoning is a useful skill. In this activity, students will create a three cell storyboard explaining the signs of overdose, how to help, and what to do while waiting. This should be covered in class prior to the assessment, and students should not depict actual use of the drug.

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

  • Disorientation
  • Cold and clammy hands
  • Vomiting
  • Low coordination
  • Unconsciousness
  • Unable to speak clearly
  • Blue tinge to skin
  • Low breathing and pulse rates

How to Get Help

  • Call 911 immediately
  • Get a trusted adult

What to do While Waiting for Help

  • Stay with the individual
  • Prevent choking by putting the person on their side or sitting them up
  • Keep the person awake
  • Offer them water if they can drink
  • Inform them of what is happening to keep them calm

What NOT to do

  • Do not feed the person, they may choke on the food
  • Do not give the person more alcohol, stopping the intake of alcohol is important
  • Do not give the person medication, mixing drugs may make it worse
  • Do not give the person coffee, caffeine may dehydrate them further
  • Do not ask them to walk it off, keep them sitting
  • Do not put them in the shower, that may increase the risk of hypothermia

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of alcohol poisoning and how to get help by creating a storyboard.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. List the titles of each box as ‘Overdose Signs’, ‘Getting Help’, and ‘What to Do’.
  3. In the description boxes, briefly explain what usually takes place during each step.
  4. In the overdose cell, create a visual with three examples of alcohol poisoning. In the description box list those three signs. Do not depict the actual use of the drug.
  5. In the ‘Getting Help’ cell description box, explain how to get help and illustrate and example in the cell.
  6. In the ‘What to Do’ description box, explain what someone should do while waiting for help and illustrate an example in the cell.
  7. Save often!

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

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