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article imageBinge Drinking Kills College Students

By KJ Mullins     Jul 8, 2008 in Health
When you send your kids off to college you know that some partying will be taking place. It's the first time most kids are out on their own and able to experiment without Mom and Dad watching. That drinking though can come with a death sentence.
Drinking games can lead to alcohol poisoning. College students are the most at risk for consuming large amounts of alcohol in a relatively short period. A lot of college students also drink for only one purpose, to get totally smashed.
Between 1999 to 2005 over 157 college students drank themselves to death. Of those 83 who died were not even old enough to drink legally in the United States.
In almost every case of death by alcohol a friend knew that the person was drunk and put them to bed to "sleep it off." That is a fatal mistake. With blood alcohol levels are an average of 0.40 the only way to survive is to be taken to the hospital and seek treatment.
It's not that the colleges are unaware of the problem or ignoring it. Every year Freshmen are told the dangers of extreme drinking and more laws have been passed to make binge drinking a crime. It hasn't registered. This is the time in one's life that believing you are indestructible can prove deadly.
While there are new laws the court doesn't generally make a big deal over such cases. Jail time is rare, most often giving alcohol to a minor brings forth a fine, a few hours of community service and a slap on the wrist.
Most of the dead are young men letting it all hang out on the weekends. December is the deadliest month as finals wrap up.
On average college students drink the same amount as other adults during any given week or month. The difference though is how they drink. While older adults tend to have a beer or two a night the college student waits for a party and downs a weeks worth of alcohol in a single setting.
Federal figures do not indicate if the adults falling in the age brackets are college students but a 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that the most likely to binge drink.
One game that has been proven very deadly is drinking 21 shots on ones 21st birthday. 11 people have died on their 21st birthdays as a result of this game.
Being upfront with your kids about the real dangers of alcohol poisoning may be the best defense. You may look "old fashioned" but maybe, just maybe they will stick it in the back of their head and remember your warnings.
More about College age, Binge drinking, Alcohol poisoning
 
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