We've discussed here the multitude of dangers for young people exposed to large amounts of alcohol when they go off to college. Consuming a lot of alcohol in a short span of time is known as binge drinking and can be dangerous and potentially fatal because the body isn't able to absorb the alcohol at the rate it's being ingested.
The impact of alcohol on a person varies depending on their weight, size, gender and other factors. However, anyone can become a victim of alcohol poisoning, which kills an average of six people in this country every day. That's about 2,200 people annually.
College students — especially freshmen — are particularly susceptible to alcohol poisoning. They're on their own for the first time to attend parties, sporting events and fraternity/sorority gatherings where alcohol is in large supply. Then, too, peer pressure to drink is strong. Students typically have had little or no experience drinking in the past.
Alcohol poisoning can cause irregular breathing and heartbeat, permanent brain damage and death. That's why it's essential to recognize the symptoms of alcohol poisoning in yourself and others and seek medical treatment before it's too late.
It may be difficult to distinguish some of these symptoms, like incoherence, confusion and vomiting, from those experienced by someone who's had too much to drink but isn't in imminent danger. It's particularly difficult for people around that person who may be drunk themselves. However, if a person is unresponsive or comatose, having seizures, not breathing normally or is pale, clammy and cold, it's essential to get help.
If you're preparing to send your son or daughter off to college, don't assume that because they're still too young to legally drink, they won't. That's why it's crucial to discuss with them all of the potential consequences of drinking. This includes, of course, the dangers to their health and safety. However, it also includes the consequences of an arrest for drunk driving or underage drinking could have on their status at college, financial aid, participation in college athletics and even their ability to get a job in their chosen career after college.
Nonetheless, kids should know that they can call their parents if they get into legal problems. Access to experienced legal guidance can make the difference in the consequences they face as they move forward after an arrest.