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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Freshmen Alcohol Related Deaths

College drinking continues to claim the lives of young adults around the country, with at least eight freshmen deaths since the start of the semester, reports Times Higher Education. Some of the students died before ever attending a college class!

Dalton Debrick, a freshman at Texas Tech University, died from alcohol poisoning just 24 hours before his first day in college, according to the report. Debrick’s death was not the first, in fact an international student at Michigan State University died after a night of drinking the day before. A week later, alcohol would lead to a Towson University student falling into a glass door during a party, causing death.

Sadly the list continues, what is sadder is the fact that more students will lose their lives to alcohol as the year progresses. Clearly, students are not leaving for school with the right messages regarding the dangers of alcohol, when coupled with a new sense of freedom the results can be disastrous.

While colleges encourage freshmen and their parents to talk about alcohol and drugs before leaving for school, once the parents are out of sight there is often no telling what will happen.

“It’s a huge transition and all the support systems are different,” said Pete Goldsmith, Dean of Students at Indiana University at Bloomington. “For students who have lived in very structured situations and environments, going to a college campus when very suddenly they have this new kind of freedom and new choices to make, it can be pretty overwhelming.”

At many schools, little time is spent at orientation educating new students about the dangers of drinking and drug use. “We urge parents to have conversations with students about drug and alcohol use,” Goldsmith said. “We encourage parents to think through what their own expectations are for this first year. Parents and students are so focused on getting into college, there’s not always a lot of attention given to what’s going to happen once they’re actually there.”

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