Alcohol poisoning, other issues explained: Real Talk with Shelly & Ted

Shelly Sloan is the Health Promotion Coordinator and Ted Winkworth is the Alcohol and Other Drug Program Coordinator. You can find them at The Lifestyles Center in Walker Health Center. Shelly received her Master’s Degree in Community Health Education and is certified in Health Education. Ted received his Master’s Degree in Counseling and is also a credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor.


Dear Shelly and Ted, 

If I can’t get the Plan B pill, could I just take a few of my birth control pills instead?


Plan C


Dear Plan C,

Technically, yes you could, but only under the direction of a healthcare provider. But why would you if Plan B is more readily available, has less side effects and safer? After unprotected intercourse, you typically have 72 hours to access Plan B. That should give you plenty of time to get your hands on a pill. It is available over the counter at many drugstores, at Mary Walker Health Center ($20) or for free by calling/texting Oswego County Opportunities at 315-297-5757. Remember, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, Plan B should never be used as a form of birth control. It should be used as backup contraception only.



Dear Shelly and Ted,

When you are with someone, how do you know if they want to have sex with you?


Lonely Lover


Dear Lonely Lover,

The biggest indicator is that you talk about it. My personal opinion is this: if you can’t talk about it, then you shouldn’t be doing it. Have honest conversations about your previous experiences and how far you are willing to go with your partner; then respect your partner by honoring their wishes. I find it best that these conversations happen outside of the bedroom when your clothes are still on. This way, there is no temptation to change your mind in the heat of the moment. How might that conversation look? I might start by letting the other person know how I feel about them and that I am ready to take the relationship to another level—let it evolve from there. Remember, though, that even though this conversation has taken place, it is not a blanket statement for consent. Consent must be given each time, regardless of relationship status or history.



Dear Shelly and Ted,

I think my friend had alcohol poisoning last week and I wasn’t sure what to do. How can you tell?


Stumbling Student


Dear Stumbling Student,

Fun fact: when someone throws up, it means they have alcohol poisoning. So that’s the easy answer. This is what makes it difficult: if you drink regularly, you’ve likely see someone throw up from drinking and live through the night so it’s hard to tell if it’s really an emergency or not. We typically recommend you stop drinking and seek medical attention if you throw up but if you see someone throw up who is unable to get it into a trash can or toilet, that’s when you know you have a definite life or death situation on your hands. Additionally, if someone can’t figure out where they are, can’t walk without someone holding them up or is passed out to the point where even the feeling of that Sharpie drawing things on their face isn’t waking them, then something has gone wrong and you should seek medical attention immediately. Even if you’re underage, make the call. Our state and our school have Good Samaritan Policies that protect you from getting in trouble if you get help for a friend for alcohol poisoning or if your friend calls for help for you.



If you have a question you can submit anonymously at or send a Direct Message on Twitter @LSC_Oswego


Real Talk contributions by

Peer Educators: Elsaa Batista, Jillian Bergemann, Halie Bloom, Kyle DeCarr, Julie Jacques and Racheal Richardson

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