You may have thought binge drinking in college was all fun and games, but it’s important to be aware of what can happen when it takes a turn for the worst. When you’re new to university life and get suckered in by peer pressure, you might not realize the dangers of binge drinking. But it’s important to be wary—not only can binge drinking be bad for your health, but it can even lead to death. Here are seven crazy binge drinking death stories that made headlines:
1. “Student dies after ‘downing 16 shots’ as she celebrated her 21st birthday”: Lydia Gale Clark didn’t know her twenty-first birthday celebration would be her last when she set out with her friends on a night of bar hopping for a six-hour drinking marathon. Lydia’s father, Brad Clark, and his wife had talked to Lydia about the dangers and effects of drinking alcohol before her birthday rolled around. “I don’t get this rite of passage where these kids think you have to do 21 shots [on your twenty-first birthday]. I mean, holy cow,” Clark said.
2. “Acadia student dies after binge drinking: Student was seen playing ‘flip cup‘ in residence”: Being found dead in a basement dorm room was one unlucky 19-year-old student’s fate after a night of heavy binge drinking, playing the popular college party game “flip cup.” The media respected the parents’ wishes to keep the news private, but a friend did make a statement: “He was drinking a 40 oz. of something and he pretty much drank the whole thing … not even mixing it.”
3. “College freshman, 18, dies from binge drinking ‘after being locked in room with 15 other pledges and told not to come out until all liquor was gone'”: As part of a hazing ritual by his fraternity leaders, 18-year-old Philip Dhanens was locked in a room with fifteen others and were told they couldn’t leave until they had drank all of the alcohol. Dhanens had only been at the college for two weeks before he died.
4. “Student, 18, ‘downed a bottle of rum in 15 MINUTES for a bet before falling to his death down a flight of stairs'”: Having started college just that week, Timothy Jarvis was young and ready to party. Unfortunately he fell to his death upon stumbling and taking a tumble down a flight of stairs, resulting in severe head injuries. Jarvis had said he could drink the bottle in 30 minutes, but ended up drinking the entire thing in just 15 minutes. His mother stated that at this age, students are still children, and they “enter a very dangerous culture of binge drinking.”
5. “Parents of female student, 19, who ‘died after downing up to 17 vodkas at binge-drinking party’ sue fraternity and bar”: College student Megan Helal was 19 and underage when she visited her boyfriend at his university and drank herself to death at a fraternity party. She was believed to have consumed between ten and seventeen vodka drinks.
6. “Molly Ammon died from alcohol poisoning while on spring break: Friends put her to bed to ‘sleep it off'”: When Molly Ammon left for a spring break party nearby her family’s home, her mother, Angie, wasn’t worried. Her daughter had always been the responsible one. However, Molly consumed thirteen drinks quickly, bringing her blood alcohol level to five times the legal limit, resulting in her death. Her mother has since made a Facebook page called “Molly Ammon Spring Break Awareness” to warn other families about the binge drinking that goes on at college parties.
7. “Teen died after party house parents let friends drink”: At just 17, Chris Skinner died after partying with his friends’ parents. That’s right—not only did one of Skinner’s friends’ parents allow the teenagers to drink on his property, but when he sent them home around midnight, they decided to head to another friend’s house where they joined that friends’ parents in consuming even more alcohol. Skinner was already “sloshed” according to the friend who had invited him over. As part of a party tradition, the group wrote all over Skinner’s body in Sharpies when he was the first to pass out. His friend’s mother even took part. Skinner never woke up—he died of acute alcohol poisoning, and according to police, “his blood alcohol level was nearly five times the legal limit.”
The reality of binge drinking deaths is all too real, especially with these devastating accounts of students who had bright futures ahead and families who loved them. Make the right decisions this spring break. If you’re going to drink, drink in moderation, and remember to take care of your friends too. After all, a binge drinking death is not how any of you would want to become famous.