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« T. R. Hauser, 23, Dies of Alcohol Poisoning | Main | Bradley Barrett Kemp, 20, Died of Poly Drug Abuse »

Thursday, December 09, 2004



I cannot believe some of these stories about alcohol poisening!! They are absolutely unbelieveable. I mean, I am not going to lie, I used to drink, but have been sober now for 7 months. I suffered of alcoholism in my family. I am 17 years old and my father used to be an alcoholic until about 8 years ago and I made the mistake to follow his lead and then my life finally became to mean much more to me!!Thank god reality finally strikes at the oddest times in your life.


Our family has recently lost a 19 year old young man to alcohol poisoning, when something so terrible happens at a "party" why is it impossible to get the honest truth about what exactly happens? Nobody has came to us and told us what happened, we have no explanation for the blood soaked shirt or the busted lip or even what he drank that resulted in a 0.53 blood alcohol content. Drinking kills!! You don't have to be behind the wheel of a car for alcohol to show the fatal effects!


I would like to say that I grew up with Blake Hammontree since the 5th grade, he was truly a very intelligent person, who I saw between grades 5th through 9th that he wanted truly to fit in with the crowd, in my words be "popular",and what person dosen't just want to be liked by there peers? Blake was an OU fan since I've known him, always wearing an OU jersey, he ws very liked by his classmates, I have so many memories with Blake, such sad tragic moment, I saw him in Kmart in Enid weeks before he died, I was going to say hi, yet for some odd reason I turned around and kept walking, I've had several classmates that have died, one very close to Blake, "Wesley Patocka" a dear friend to me and Blake; they used to live right down the street from eachother, he died of car accident that was alcohol related. It's amazing such close friends can die, and you put yourself in the same situation. I cared and loved both of you and hope your in a better place. I think of you often.................................


Reading the story about the death of OU freshman Blake Adam Hammontree triggered some of my thoughts on why college student abuse alcohol. Although the answers are probably many, the simplest answer, however, is this: “Because they can.”

When there are so few immediate consequences for excessive drinking, when repeat offenders are not disciplined, when parents are not notified about their children's drinking activities, when students get mixed messages from the college administration about alcohol, when students have seen their parents drinking alcohol in an irresponsible manner, when students are not informed about the long-tern negative consequences of alcohol abuse, when there are few alcohol-free social and recreational activities that are attractive to students, when minors or intoxicated students are served alcoholic beverages by the local drinking establishments, and when the drinking activities in the sororities and fraternities are not monitored--drinking and excessive drinking become so very easy.

When peer pressure or influence is added to the equation, when it is disregarded that drinking alcohol temporarily removes a person from his or her problems, when ignoring the belief or perception that drinking alcohol makes it easier to socialize with potential dating or sexual partners, when it is so acceptable to engage in activities that emphasize the drinking of alcohol, when the "good feelings" or the "fun" of getting an alcohol high or buzz are not considered, and when the party atmosphere at college is expected by students--it becomes more clear regarding what causes college students to abuse alcohol.

In a word, college students abuse alcohol because they can, because drinking makes them feel good, because drinking helps them relax and open up more in social situations, because drinking can be fun, because their friends and other students are doing it, because of peer pressure and peer influence, because alcohol is so accessible, because excessive drinking is accepted, and because many of them when they were in high school were told by their parents and other influential people that it is okay to get drunk “once in a while.”


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