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College is supposed to be the best four years of your life; parties, friends and boyfriends and girlfriends make some of your best memories. However, if you go to college with no knowledge about the possible dangers and how to take care of yourself or a friend it can lead to a dangerous situation.
On average, 1,700 college students die every year from alcohol-related accidents, according to the University of Oregon. This number is disturbingly high for something that is so preventable. A majority of college kids are going to go out and party, which means that many college kids are going to be drinking, which is fine when done safely.
According to Xavier University, many students binge drink, defining that as a “male who consumed 5 or more drinks in a row and a female who consumed 4 or more drinks in a row.” Binge drinking can lead to many problems including falling behind academically, drunk driving, mental health disorders and alcohol poisoning which can lead to death.
If you’re at a bar or a party with a friend and you suspect she has had one too many drinks and decide to take her home, watch for these symptoms and if you observe any she may have alcohol poisoning and needs to be brought to the hospital immediately.
- Mental confusion, stupor or the person cannot be woken up
- No response when pinching the skin
- Vomiting while sleeping
- Slow breathing (less than eight per minute)
- Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
- Low body temperature, paleness or bluish skin color
As a bystander, you have a responsibility to get help right away, do not wait for all of the symptoms to be present and do not worry about getting in trouble, the most important thing during this time is to get your friend to the hospital and get her help. These important steps may save your friend’s life.
- Attend to the person so they don’t choke on their own vomit
- Call 911
- DO NOT believe these myths about alcohol poisoning:
- Drinking black coffee will help
- Taking a cold shower will help
- Walking or sleeping it off will help
“Most kids are scared to report it because they are usually underage,” said Danny Santa, a police officer with the Ramapo Police Department.
He explains that each sate has its own policies but usually the parent is contacted and the person serving the alcohol would be arrested. The victim and caller would not get in trouble though and he always encourages kids to call in any situtation.
“You could save a kid’s life,” Santa said.