College is supposed to be the best four years of your life; parties, friends, 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 can prevented. 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 (that’s what happens in college) when done safely.
According to Xavier University, many students binge drink, which they define as a “male who consumed 5 or more drinks in a row and a female who consumed 4 or more drinks in a row,” and binge drinking can lead to many problems. These problems include falling behind academically, drunk driving, mental health disorders, and alcohol poisoning which can lead to death.
Say 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, but she’s acting more unusual than just being drunk. If you observe any of these symptoms he/she may have alcohol poisoning and needs to be brought to the hospital immediately (Xavier.edu).
- 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 (Xavier.edu).
Attending to the person so they don’t choke on their own vomit
- Calling 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,” Danny Santa, a police officer with the Ramapo Police Department said.
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 a situation like this.
“You could save a kid’s life,” Santa said.