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Alcohol poisoning death from binge drinking


Spring break can be both fun and dangerous.  While high school and college students flee home for warmer weather and excessive drinking, may serious risks come into play, including the risk of death from alcohol poisoning.  This risk is something Angie Ammon knows about all too well. Her daughter Molly, a 19 year old star student at the University of Florida, passed away from alcohol poisoning caused by binge drinking.


At the time Molly Ammon died, her blood alcohol level was at a shocking 0.4.  Experts estimate that it would take 13 drinks consumed in rapid succession to reach that BAC. Angie Ammon says that she was unaware of her daughters binge drinking.  Always responsible, Angie did not realize she needed to warn her daughter of the risks of binge drinking.  Whether or not she realized it, Angie Ammon had reason to worry: 42% of college students engage in binge drinking, and of all the alcohol consumed by underage students like Molly, 90% is chugged.  College students report that having a friend pass out is commonplace and not considered a big deal.  This might help explain why when Molly Ammon passed out her friends put her in a bed and left her alone to “sleep it off.” 


So what can be done to diminish the risk of death from binge drinking?  Angie Ammon has an idea: “Just don’t drink!”  But even she realizes that is extremely unlikely.  A better message, she urges, is to preach that “You are your brother’s keeper.”  If students watch out for each other and take necessary steps to keep everyone safe, alcohol poisoning caused deaths could be greatly reduced.


If you are a high school or college student, be careful of the dangers of binge drinking.  While there might be extreme peer pressure to play along, keep drinking at a pace where you can monitor your level of intoxication.  1 drink per hour is a good benchmark.  If you must take shots, do not take more than 1 shot at a time and leave ample time in-between so you can monitor your own state of drunkenness. Also, follow Angie Ammon’s advice.  Look out for each other.  Angie Ammon wishes one of her daughter’s friends would have called her at the first time of trouble.  Sure, it might be scary to call your parents because you worry they might be mad.  But, it’s much better to call your parents or friend’s parents instead of having to explain to them why their child is dead.  Finally, if there is any risk of serious intoxication, call for medical help immediately.  A doctor is the only good judge of when too much is dangerous.  Do not leave a life and death decision in your hands, and instead bring that person to a medical professional who can provide the help that person may seriously need. Drinking always comes along with serious risks, but there are steps you can take to make the experience more safe for everyone and avoid an alcohol poisoning related death. 


Story by NBCNews.com



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