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There are 26 comments on Anatomy of an Alcohol Transport

  1. The Security Assistants manning each dorm lobby are the first to respond to any students that arrive and are in need of medical attention. It is their training and experience that determine if the student is having difficulties physically and/or mentally and they are the ones that call BUPD for evaluation and/or medical transport. They deal with alcohol related incidents as well as medical, aggressive behavior ect. on a daily basis. Some of the Security Assistants on this campus have years of experience and have training twice a year to keep them up to date on new procedures and policies that have been implemented. The S/A’s are the “first responders” in these matters.

      1. I beg to difer….The S/A’s on campus made the calls on 5 separate occasions last night alone. The Residential Safety staff is the first to see the students walking into the residences.

        1. Then things have changed since I graduated; Res Safety definitely let a lot of people in they shouldn’t have and the RAs would find them vomiting in the bathroom; the only Res Safety staff that were pretty consistent were Warren Towers

  2. This article fails to include the medical bills that students, who already have hundreds of thousands dollars of student loans, recieve after BU sends them to the hospital. For just an ambulance ride and a water drip you’re looking at somewhere around $6,000. That’s after insurance. If you’re trying to inform students of “what really happens”, including the financial detriment that a night like that will create seems necessary.

    1. ^ This is not true. The average cost of a transport prior to insurance is about $1200. Insurance covers most of that and the hospital stay. Who ever sold you $6000 as the number lied to you or didn’t have medical insurance.

      1. As a follow-up, many students who experienced high costs for ambulance rides did so as a result of insurance that was “out of network” (these were the ones who often ended up paying close to the full $1200-$1500). Under ACA it no longer matters whether it’s in or out of network, ambulance rides for emergency situations are covered. Just thought that was an important clarification.

        The $6000 is still completely fabricated or was a pre-insurance figure.

        1. Just because insurance pays for it doesn’t make it free or a non-cost. We all pay insurance premiums. I appreciate the comment of the parent saying that the cost was worth it — but is there a way to not incur such a high medical cost AND send a message to the student AND make sure student are not in medical danger? BU has many students who are EMTs, and of course access to all the BU medical school students who could be hired to be on hand on the Charles River campus to offer emergency medical care for heavily intoxicated students. This should still be followed by the classes etc. discussed in the article.

  3. Good point about the cost of the hospital transport – it should be part of freshman/parent orientation. However as a parent of a 2011 transport, I am fulling in support of BU’s practice. It was a wake up call for my son, and a lesson he had NO desire to relearn. Worth every penny and made a huge impact. We know someone who died of alcohol poisoning on a campus and appreciate that those odds are reduced at BU. Believe it promotes responsible drinking and awareness of personal limits. I can also say it impacted all his roommates in a positive way and likely prevented one of them ending up with a transport.

  4. Honestly, the ambulance should be out there saving people’s lives who have gotten in an accident or had a heart attack, not saving some kid who is tipsy or stupid enough to get themselves dangerously drunk.

    1. So you’d rather let the kids die or get seriously hurt? Come on. Yes, it’s an issue, but you’re not looking at it from the right perspective. It’s all private ambulance companies anyway; it’s not Boston EMS.

    2. And people don’t make other bad decisions before being in an accident? Texting while driving? Crossing a dark street while wearing dark clothes? Riding a bike without a helmet? Thankfully, the first responders don’t evaluate what happened leading up to someone needing their help. They just help.

  5. In what unity is the 0.18 limit expressed please? Are we talking air , blood and which imperial units?

    In France , driving limits are 0.25g/L of air or 0.5g/L of blood.

    1. BAL or BAC is blood alcohol level/blood alcohol concentration. A blood alcohol concentration of .08 (eight one hundreths of one percent) means that there’s .08 g/dL of blood. So a .18 would mean that there were .18g/dL of alcohol in your blood.

    2. In North America, BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is measured in grams of alcohol per 1 dL of blood. The legal driving limit in most states is 0.08 g/dL.

    3. For Massachusetts, the legal driving limit is .08 grams of ethanol per deciliter of blood (g/dL) – using the same units, the limit in France is .05 g/dl.

      Last year, we saw an average BAC of .19 g/dL among students who were transported.

      I hope this helps!

      1. Also interested in writing about this issue…in the article it says Dr. Ulrich at BMC said they “sometimes” perform a breathalyzer test to gauge BAC, is the average BAC given in this article only for those students given the breathalyzer test? And if so, what percentage of transports does this cover?

  6. As director of Residence Life, I can confirm that BU Housing’s security assistants are often the first members of the University staff to identify students who are displaying signs of alcohol intoxication while entering our high-rise residences. We appreciate the important role the security assistants play in our halls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  7. Although I am no longer at BU (graduated in 2012), I was a student who was transported in 2009 (female, was a sophomore, suppose I fall into the statistic). I went to the ER at BMC with a 3.0 BAC, truly horrible, and I was lucky to live – do not remember the incident until I woke up in the morning. Though I have fond memories of college, I am also very shameful of my excessive drinking habits from those past years (and there are many others like me). Though my transport was somewhat of a wake up call – I continued to binge drink throughout the rest of my college career.

    My advice for parents, students, etc is to figure out if you are one of those people that does not know their limit, or ignores it (like me). I WISH my parents had told me that I have some pretty severe genes in my family history that I didn’t know about. If you have a child in college, or going into college, please talk to them if you have a history of alcohol issues yourself, or if it runs in the family. Not trying to be too personal, but that’s a lot of times the root of the issue.

    I hope the number of college students transported goes down – and I agree with the policy of not punishing someone who helps out a friend. A girl who I didn’t even know found me unresponsive in my dorm (I had somehow gone to the wrong floor) – and thank God she did the right thing and called the RAs – I clearly got in trouble, but I desperately needed medical attention (like woke up with heart monitors on). I cringe when I think about it.

    PLEASE BE CAREFUL students, and if you have a binge drinking problem, admit it to yourself, and stop drinking period. Thank you BU for trying to address the binge drinking issue and transport situation on campus. I can say that when it happened to me there was a very good process set in place, but I do think that it should be very, very strongly encouraged that students that have had a transport stop drinking period. Drinking coffee instead when going out can be just as fun (just not too much coffee).

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.. A 3.0 BAC must have been frightening.. God bless you on your future endeavours and I hope you continue reaching out to kids who may be going through now what you had to go through then.

  8. When I clicked on the link for “anatomy of an alcohol transport” I wondered if it was a scientific discussion of how alcohol is transported in the bloodstream. Fascinating and informative. As a professor here at BU, I appreciated this in-depth and rigorous discussion.

  9. “for unknown reasons—February and April come in close behind”

    BU: One of the best universities in the nation;
    still doesn’t understand the basic student body and their habits.

    This spike is common knowledge.

  10. I have worked at BU for many years and have personally observed the disrespect and abuse towards security staff. Intoxicated students feel they are entitled to say and behave they want to regardless. When I was a student here in a dorm as well as an RA, Escort Founder and supervisor, security at the GSU and supervisor for Residential Safety. I have seen more than any should. People don’t realize not only the cost, humiliation, damage to dorms and the community celebrating way into the nights disturbing our neighbors, tearing down traffic signs, stop signs and orange construction signs not to mention the abuse to security staff who are here to keep them safe. I have seen it all. I have been a director of numerous pre-release programs, worked with thousands of ex-offenders and homeless men and women, almost all have shared with me the damage they regretfully have caused their families, their status in society, employment. They have thrown their own lives away and never saw it coming. Yes I have seen it all. As a member of a very large family I was the first and only one to have been the only one to have fortunate to attend college and because of some wonderful people I was able graduate from BU twice, happily married and have six children. I feel sorry for those who feel they are being punished for drinking to the point where your whole life and future is out of whack and the many friends and family who try try and try again to help. They are hurting too. I one time ask a group of inmate at Walpole prison “How many of you planned to be in prison?” Not a hand went up. I repeated the question and again not a hand went up”. Almost all said alcohol and drugs are why they are there. I challenged that statement and stated they put them selves there. Why, because THEY DID NOT PLAN, THEY DID NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OR SEEK EDUCATION TO HELP THEMSELVES AND THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. THEY DID NOT THINK ABOUT CONSEQUENCES. THEY DID NOT THINK.

  11. how about a story called Anatomy of a Drug Overdose?
    Ask a nurse(I did) at Boston Medical about the number of drug overdoses by college students and the numbers are worse. Heroine is cheaper than alcohol. It’s a bigger problem right now. Maybe some of the new police body cameras can record what it looks like to be overdosing on heroine. A video of a young person having a heart attack from heroine might be a good deterrent from them trying this very addictive drug.

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