Researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) are sounding the alarm: in 2008 about 29,000 young people between the ages of 18 – 24 were brought to hospitals with the diagnosis of alcohol overdose. And 1.500 to 2.000 thousands of people with such a diagnosis die annually.
How do drunk American students look like?
A typical portrait of a drunk American student looks like:
- this is more a young man than a girl;
- rather white (African Americans are more inclined to relax with weed);
- certainly a member of some student community.
- He is active in sports and in favor of a university baseball or American football team. And the most athletic guys are more likely than others to risk their health – they are confident that physical strength and endurance allow them to get drunk to the full extent.
Not only the amount of alcohol but also the rate of its consumption leads to death. Surveys show that up to 20% of students at parties in 2 hours drink 10 “and more” portions of alcohol (the data is somewhat inaccurate, since not every interviewee could remember how many shots they managed to drink until becoming absolutely drunk). Moreover, many students simply do not understand what a portion is and do not consider the amount of alcohol consumed. And, of course, none of them draw parallels between the bottle and death.
A standard portion of alcohol is about 350 ml of beer or 40 ml of a potent drink. Assumptive freshman Sam Mason in 20 minutes received a dose of 17 alcohol drinks; no one remembers what happened next but an autopsy showed the level of alcohol in his blood before his death was 4.3 ppm.
3.5 ppm is the death rate of alcohol in the blood. If you’re just not an alcoholic with rich experience. With this alcohol rate in the brain, the centers that are responsible for breathing and heartbeat can be switched off. A gag reflex goes somewhere, forcing you to cough and clear your respiratory tract if the stomach decides to empty your stomach. Students may choke when vomiting blocks respiratory tract.
Of course, even the heaviest booze can avoid fatal consequences. Many students survived with twice as much alcohol level as Sam did. You can stand on your feet longer if you had alcoholics in your family or you “trained” your body with frequent abuses. When researchers from the University of Missouri examined 990 drinking students, 10% of them admitted that they often conduct “alcohol training”. And if at the usual party in the company, the guys become drunk after 8–11 portions, then at the training it is almost the norm to take 12–17 portions.
All these experiments often end “extreme drinking.” Last September, a student at the University of Tennessee was hospitalized with an alcohol overdose after a meeting of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. The police have every reason to believe that the condition of the guy was caused by wine enemas, which students put to each other.