Friday, February 27

Where is my "Drunk Call"

EMT class last night: Overwhelming amount of information. Topic was the steps involved in running a trauma call. I clearly still need some time to work out the logical flow.

Ambulance Stuff: On call from 0000 to 0600. No calls for us. Had the pager set to “Monitor” and heard another corps get an alcohol poisoning call (they have a small state college in their district). Not that I want one, but I have yet to get an EtOH call. They are relatively common in my district (college students make up half the town from August to May).

The data are fairly clear (e.g., Wechsler’s work at Harvard) that while alcohol is a problem on most all college campuses (and has been for HUNDREDS of years), the following are associated with increases the severity:

1) Residential School > Commuter School
2) Selective > Not Selective
3) Rural Setting > Urban
4) Live in Greek Letter House > Not Live in Greek Letter House

“Binge Drinking” (as operationally defined by Wechsler) is statistically associated with less studying, more injuries, more run ins with law enforcement, more instances of un-protected sex, sex when sex wasn’t planned, sexual assaults, depression, etc., etc., etc.. In fact, people AROUND binge drinkers are more likely to be injured (among other things) than people who are not. The nature of the design of these studies prevents making causal statements. That is, it is too bold to say (based on these data) that drinking CAUSES injuries or that being in a rural setting CAUSES drinking, for example.

I work at a selective, residential college in a rural setting with a significant number of Greek Letter members. On top of that, most “college guides” list our school as a “work hard / play hard” school where EtOH is the drug of choice. Our kids, statistically, are at risk. The local ER and campus safety data are consistent with the concerns you’d have after having reading the alcohol literature.

My first drunk call? It is coming, I am sure. I selfishly hope it isn’t someone I know so as to spare us both the embarrassment.