A twenty- year-old allegedly intoxicated college student called “Vodka Samm” on twitter, runs out on the field during a football game. She is arrested. Her BAC is reportedly .341. Deadspin picks up on it with the title
“Alleged Female Idiot On The Field Blows .341 BAC, Has Amazing Twitter’
As you would expect from a 20 year old college student, she revels in her sure to be short lived twitter “celebrity” that will last until the next intoxicated idiot does something somewhere. People tweet her about how great she is. They ask her out on dates. Marriage proposals are tweeted regularly.
On the flip-side, anyone who points out that maybe a .341 BAC (.37 and above is considered potentially fatal) indicates an alcohol problem or points out that having her story on the internet for life is not good for future job prospects is dismissed by Vodka Samm as a “hater”. Vodka Samm touts her good grades to combat suggestions of an alcohol problem. Again, pretty much what you would expect from a 20 year old. The type of denial you also hear from alcoholics. The basics of alcohol abuse and denial are the same for everyone. Lips to bottle. Swallow. “I’m just a college student having fun”. All fun and games right. Here are some of the lessons that “Vodka Samm” will learn.
1. A person generally does not get to .341 BAC by pounding beers all day unless they are already an alcoholic. Something that high is likely the result of binge drinking or the buildup of of the tolerance of the alcoholic. Neither bodes well for “Vodka Samm”. Binge drinking is a terrible problem on college campuses. And college campuses have plenty of 20 year old alcoholics.
2. Anyone who believes that drinking to a .341 BAC is just normal “having fun” college behavior does not know crap from Crisco. I have seen plenty of binge drinking and hard core everyday drinking alcoholic teens in twelve-step. They thought it was fun at first in college. The now know it’s not normal.
3. As parents, do you know the drinking habits of your children in college or is whatever happens just the fun and games of the college years? Do you ask? I wonder if the parents of Vodka Sam have ever asked her. I suspect they will now.
4. Last but not least, she is now memorialized as a “Female Idiot” with an arrest on the internet for time immemorial. Don’t have to be a brain surgeon to figure out that it could impact her future employment prospects beyond ditch-digging or flipping burgers. No biggie now though. Right? Come on! It’s just college! She’s only twenty!
Let’s make it REAL simple for those who still don’t get it. If you drink to a .341 BAC twenty-year-old or fifty-year-old, you have a drinking problem. End of Story. Get help. If your son or daughter drinks to that level, intervene immediately. How will you know? It’s not always easy. Start by asking.
I wish “Vodka Samm” the best and hope I am wrong but I don’t think I am.