Drinking Yourself to Death

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Consider this a public service announcement for everyone turning 21 in the near future. You may finally be able to get into a bar by flashing your real ID instead of a fake, but before you go crazy remember this name: Lydia Clark. This Drake University junior died yesterday after a night of heavy drinking to celebrate her 21st birthday.
 
“Friends said Lydia Clark had taken about 16 shots of alcohol Friday evening while out drinking at various bars with friends,” reported the Des Moines Register. “Clark started drinking at about 9:30 p.m. on Friday and continued for about six hours.”
 
Her father, Brad, said his daughter’s death was also caused by an undiagnosed heart condition that was discovered during her autopsy. 
 
“Her mom and I love her dearly and miss her dearly,” Clark told the Register. “When we first got the call in, for the first 24 hours, we just thought it was ignorance of what alcohol can do to you.”
 
Just because her father knows that there was more than one factor that contributed to his daughter’s death doesn’t mean he is underplaying the role excessive drinking played in this tragedy.
 
“I don’t get this rite of passage where these kids think you have to do 21 shots,” said Clark. “I mean, holy cow.”
 
This isn’t meant to sound preachy, but it’s an important message: moderation is the name of the game. An editorial in the Iowa State Daily says it the best:
 
“We are neither condemning nor condoning that level of alcohol consumption or passing judgment on her in any way, but this event is a tragedy that should serve as a reminder of the highest magnitude to students of all classes and ages that, when taken in too much excess, alcohol is not merely intoxicating, but deadly.”
 
Photo: David365 at flickr.com

Junior > Journalism > University of Maryland

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