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dangerous binge drinking

The Truth About Dangerous Binge Drinking is Life Threatening

Drinking, especially dangerous binge drinking is all over pop culture which portrays it as trendy and fun. However, the dangers are very real. As a parent, you do all that you can to raise your children, teach them right from wrong, and to not cave to peer pressure.

contributing writer ~ anonymous

My “jingle” to my sons was to always have the courage to “Just Say No and Walk Away” (and then call for help if necessary, with no questions asked from me).  As a mom, I knew that I was doing my part to train them up but always questioned if they would remember this lesson when faced with a real-life situation. Unfortunately, we learned the truth about how dangerous binge drinking is life-threatening.

Fast Forward

My youngest was a freshman in college with excitement and opportunity before him.  He is “a good kid,” and I often reminded him of all of life’s lessons that he’d been taught growing up: to do well academically, to stay true to himself and to his faith, to remember that his choices have consequences, and to “Just Say No and Walk Away.”

As he quickly integrated at college, he made some new friends as well as staying connected to others from high school. His college career started off great…until two weeks into freshman semester.

The Call

It was a Saturday night, and I was up late.  The call came at 2:30 a.m. – THE CALL that every parent dreads receiving.

The head RA of his college told me that “there was an incident with my son and that as a precaution they were taking him to the hospital.”  I immediately asked what had happened, and the RA said that my son “appeared to be drunk.”

I was floored!  Believe me when I tell you that I have never had an issue with alcohol with either of my sons.  This was shocking to me, quite honestly.  And the fact that it was “just a precaution” indicated to me that it wasn’t life-threatening. I was told he was sitting upright and talking.

Until he stopped.  My son passed out and lost consciousness.

Life Threatened

He was life-flighted and flown by Medevac helicopter to our city’s trauma center.  His airway needed to be stabilized and he had to be intubated.  That is all that I knew.

With tears in my eyes, I flew up the stairs to grab my other son, and off we went to the hospital.  I remember screaming to the top of my lungs, imploring God’s intervention and calling upon the power and authority of Jesus’ mighty name to rebuke the enemy’s attack on my son, and that my son’s life not be taken that night because I knew God had great things planned for this young man’s life (both of my sons came into this world against all odds).  This is not how it was going to end for him!

Upon arriving at the hospital, we waited for my son to arrive.  Once he did, they immediately rushed him in for CT scans, ran tests. We still hadn’t seen him ourselves yet. We waited for what seemed like an eternity.

Eventually, they let us into the room with him, and there he was – on a ventilator and unconscious.  It took my breath away and I cried, quietly, my tears dripping onto his arm.  By his bedside, we held hands and prayed over him.  I spoke to my son as though he could hear us, telling him that his brother and I were there, that we loved him and that it would all be okay.

Dangerous Binge Drinking

One by one, good medical reports came back. Despite the obvious wounds to his face (broken nose, abrasions, and head contusion) there were no broken extremities, no internal bleeding, and no brain injuries. ALL GOOD NEWS!  Yet, we all sat there wondering what on earth had happened to him.  Even the ER doctors asked if he was assaulted, but I had no clue.  We just waited.

Finally, the toxicology results came back and he had alcohol poisoning.  His blood-alcohol level was .288.  It would have been lethal for him, had medical intervention and respiratory stabilization not occurred. According to the Medevac report, his breathing had stopped by the time paramedics put him on the ventilator. He aspirated on his own vomit in his dorm room.  He also exhibited signs of a traumatic brain injury because he was clenching his teeth and his left side went flaccid, indicative of a brain bleed or, at minimum, swelling of the brain.

MY SON WOULD HAVE DIED in his dorm room that night if his roommate did not return and if help was not immediately called…But for God! 

The Power of Prayer

I am forever grateful to the Good Lord above for having His mighty hand in all of this and for sparing my son’s life that night.  My son is alive, well, and has no brain damage.  His broken nose was reset in the ER without requiring surgery, and his chipped tooth repaired.  He lives back at home, attends our local community college and works.  I pray that he receives clarity for the purpose of the life which God has planned for him. It may take some time, but he will figure it out.  If not for the prayers that were prayed over the course of his life and those of that evening, I do not believe we would have had the outcome which we now rejoice in.

Lessons Learned

  • Despite my best efforts to train up my son, he caved to peer pressure once on campus. For that, he takes full responsibility and is remorseful.
  • Prayers have no expiration date; all of the prayers that you pray for your children will never expire, and they will be applied, when needed.  God most certainly intervened that evening, in that I have no doubt.
  • As difficult as this experience has been for our family, we have risen above and have been blessed with new friends and acquaintances.
  • I now have another purpose in my life:  to bring about awareness, education, and prevention regarding alcohol consumption and binge drinking, by sharing our story when I can.

Do not hesitate to call for help and save a life!

alcohol overdose

While Medical Amnesty is explained at many college orientations, students still don’t realize that every second counts. Dangerous binge drinking is life-threatening for everyone.

My son’s friends, who heard their university’s orientation two weeks prior, and who should have understood the Medical Amnesty laws that were in place on campus, still took him back to his room to “sleep it off” with no medical intervention. If not for my son’s roommate returning to the room later that night and finding my son in the condition that he was in, the call for help that saved my son’s life would have never been made.

More Information

It is my hope that by sharing “our story” it will help you to have a frank dialogue with your sons and daughters.  Please be sure that you and your children know your state’s Medical Amnesty laws & procedures, and learn the signs of alcohol poisoning from the links below.  Prevention is key, and you never know when you or one of your children will have to make the call to save a life!

For more information about Medical Amnesty, click here.

Share this information with your kids so they know to Don’t Stall, Just Call if one of their friends is in trouble with alcohol.

A member of the Counter Culture Mom posse wrote this post. She wishes to remain anonymous and we thank her for sharing her story.


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