My roommate's in the hospital.

My evening was supposed to be uneventful. I was going to stay in, be vaguely studious, watch Saturday Night Live, and go to sleep. I wasn’t really tired after SNL, so I decided to stay up until my roommate got home from the party she was at. She arrived back at the dorm around 3am, very drunk. At first, she was doing OK – talking to me about how much fun she had and who she met. Then she started vomitting up copious amounts of alcohol. Then she stopped being able to answer me coherently. Then she passed out.

While I was ministering to my roommate, I was on the phone with my best friend, Heather. As I don’t really drink, I was unsure of how to judge how poorly my roommate was doing; Heather helped me through it. Once my roommate had passed out, her skin changed from being flushed to being sort of bluish and ashen. It was about then that Heather and I agreed that I needed to call the campus emergency number.

They sent the police and EMTs, who were eventually able to rouse my roommate. They said that she was bad enough that she needed to go to the hospital; it was more than our infirmary could handle. I was crying, she was crying – it was awful. The EMT told me that she could have died. I don’t know if he was exaggerating slightly so that I wouldn’t feel guilty for having “turned her in.”

I know that I did the right thing, but I still feel awful. I’m not sure what the repercussions will be for my roommate’s underage drinking. The policewoman assured me that it wouldn’t be too bad, as she’s a good student and hasn’t been in trouble before.

It’s been a frightening and distressing morning. :frowning:

That sucks that you have had to deal with this, Serendipity. I hope she’s going to be okay. You did the right thing by calling for help.

You made a mature decision and did the right thing. Don’t feel bad. Your room mate may potentially have some trouble over this, but she has her life. She might have slept it off, but she could have died of alcohol poisoning during the night.

Sometimes being a friend involves making tough choices. You are a good friend.

ya done good.

keep reminding yourself of that when you start to get poopie-faced today

Well, my roommate has been released from the hospital into the care of the school infirmary. She called around noon to let me know where she was. I asked if she was upset with me – she said she wasn’t, but she was angry with herself. :frowning: The doctor should let her come home later this evening, so we’ll see how things go from there.

Thanks for assuring me that I did the right thing, guys. I needed to hear that.

If I were in your shoes, I would be furious with the roommate. You didn’t need her putting you in that kind of situation on a quiet Saturday night.

If she gives you any kind of hassle about the way you handled it, tell her that you did the best you could with an unfamiliar and potentially dangerous situation. Tell her that if she doesn’t like your solutions, then she shouldn’t drink herself into a coma and put you in that position in the first place.

Frankly, she probably would have made it through the night just fine if you had left her alone. She probably would have just slept it off and felt like hell in the morning. Still, you couldn’t know that for certain, and you did what you thought best. It was a reasonable course of action under the circumstances; the EMTs supported your assessment of the situation; you have no reason to be defensive.

If she gives you a hard time, lay into her and give her hell. If she can’t drink responsibly, then tell her to find alternate sleeping arrangements on the nights she wants to go out partying. It’s not your duty to keep an oxygen tent and stethyscope handy and/or make medical judgements about her health when she comes back from a party.

I’m not down on drinkers per se. I was a two-fisted drinker in my younger days, and it got me in trouble more than once. But I accepted responsibility for my own messes, and I insisted that other hard drinkers around me do the same.

I’m serious. Work yourself into a good old-fashioned rage and give her hell. The blame is all on her side. She doesn’t have the right to put you in that position. And if she’s going to create a situation like that, then she had damn well better accept your handling of the situation without any complaints. You did all you could to look out for her interests to the best of your knowledge–you handled the situation honorably and honestly. Any bad consequences arising from the situation fall on her head and her head alone. Meantime, she owes you plenty for putting you in that situation in the first place. Give her hell.

Sorry, Serendipity, I didn’t see your most recent message before I posted my own message. When I type up a long message, I should check the board one more time before pushing the Submit button. In any case, I’m glad to hear that everything’s working itself out okay.

serendipity, you did the right thing. it sounds from your description that your roommate had alcohol poisoning. if she had be left alone she could have died, or suffered rather severe damage. i’m glad you decided to wait up for her, and that you were there for her when she needed you. kudos for your quick action.

as for any repercussions, i’m sure they will make it very clear to your roommate how close she came to an irreversible end. they may feel that this close call may be enough to end any other thoughts of bingeing.

it’s good to know you are a person that can be counted on in a very serious situation. you should be proud of yourself, i know i’m proud of you.

Because her face was bluish and ashen, I also believe that she may have been suffering from alcohol poisoning, and it could be that you saved her life. No matter what she says in later days, remember what it was like last night, and that she could have died had you not acted as you did.

People really don’t take alcohol seriously enough, IMHO. It is a poison, and when taken in large enough amounts, can kill.

Serendipity dear, you made a good call. Speaking as one who has played from all sides of the field in the rescuing friends/being stupid myself game, it does seem, from your description, that your roomie was possibly pushing the envelope. Experience has proven to me, more times than I care to recount, that $X,000 worth of medical/legal bills or a semester suspension from school pales to nothing when compared with turning out the lamp.

You evidence some remorse about possibly subjecting roomie to some sanctions. From what you’ve posted so far, it sounds like y’all’s relationship is OK. More importantly, so is she. With little of your own experience to draw upon, you realized a decision had to be made. And you made it. You had to; no other counsel to draw upon, besides Heather, who was in agreement. You may be concerned about what troubles your roomie might deal with in the near future - compare that to what you’d feel if you’d awakened this morning to find her dead in her bed.

You did fine.

Just in case you’re still worrying about whether you overreacted, according to this site, you did exactly the right thing. It’s much better to err on the side of caution when you think it might mean the difference between life and death.

Serendipity, you most definately did the right thing. People who are turning blue are NOT healthy, and need assistance, since you were not trained to provide that assistance, you called someone who was. It was the mature and adult thing to do.

When I was in college, I was a volunteer with the campus emergency response team. We helped (and hospitalized) a lot of students how did what your roomate did. We also treated two patients (in the four years i was there) who didn’t make it. One was found by the cops after she passed out on the side of the road, and the other passed out in a room alone, whether his friends weren’t with him, or whether they just decided to 'let him sleep it off" we’ll never know.

I’m glad your roommate will be ok, and I’m glad she is being understanding about your role in what took place. From my experience, the Police officer you spoke was probably being truthful, it is unlikely that your roommate will suffer severe penelties from the university as she is a first time offender, and the situation was resolved without violence or damage to property. If she is underage, there is the possibility that she will face charges for underage drinking. (Especially if the police called were city/state police, rather than university police or security). Exactly what the punishment for those charges might be varies by state, but often can be a fine, and/or enrollment in an alcohol awareness type program for first time offenders who are cooperative and (regretful). In some states, she may also lose her driving privalages for a period of time. As inconvenient as such punishments might be, she is alive to suffer that inconvenience, and she might not have been if you hadn’t intervened.

Thank you for being a responsible person.
and i’m glad you were there to help her.


Serendipity, don’t feel bad. My freshman year in college, a guy in the dorm one floor above one of my best friends had the same sort of experience. Only difference is that he didn’t have a good friend to take care of him and do the right thing. This past fall was the 7th anniversary of his death.

You did the right thing. If only everyone was as responsible.

I’m really glad your roommate is ok now.

I read this thread early on, without knowing how to respond other than to parrot those who said you did the right thing.

But I never expected her to be mad at you and I guess I was right.

I think a person who did that to herself is going to feel like an ass, and she probably needs you to tell her now that she’s not stupid, she just screwed up a bit.
I’m sure she won’t do it again, not to that extreme anyway so nobody really has to be mad at anybody.

She’s lucky that you’re nice, and you won’t make her feel worse than she already does.

Thankfully, my roommate is feeling much better after her time in the infirmary and lots of sleep here in the room. As it was the campus police who responded, I don’t think she’ll face charges for underage drinking. However, she does have to go talk to the dean and attend a counseling session.

She’s thanked me numerous times since she got home last night for caring about her, but she does seem embarrassed about the whole thing, so we haven’t talked about it other than that. Things are OK between us, for which I’m grateful. She’s an amazing person, really a sweetheart, who happened to make a mistake. Hopefully, what’s left to be resolved (the conference with the dean, hospital bills, etc.) will go smoothly.

After this situation, I realized that I should probably read up on alcohol poisoning, in case I’m ever it that sort of position again. (Which I’m sure I will be at some point, but I’m hoping not…) Thanks for the link, InternetLegend.

Again, thank you all so much for your support. It’s made me feel much better about the whole thing. You guys rock.

Ya done good, kid.
You did absolutely the right thing, and it appears your roomie is aware of that. I had a brush with alcohol poisoning, when I was young and stupid, but I was too blitzed to realize that 151 shouldn’t feel and taste just like warm water when being drunk straight from the bottle.
Good job! I’m glad everything worked out ok.