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Young and occasional drinkers are uninformed, and can quickly experience serious problems that most would attribute to long-term drinkers. Examples include legal charges, accidents, health issues, and addiction, which can happen to even young drinkers. These problems do not usually happen to young people because of how long they’ve been drinking; but rather because of the amount they are drinking. Even occasional heavy drinking or binge drinking can lead to serious negative consequences.

The young people under 21 that get caught are the lucky ones! The ones that are not as fortunate either die from an accident or alcohol poisoning; or kill someone, such as an innocent passenger or pedestrian. In addition to car accidents, drowning and falling are other common alcohol-related deaths.

Alcohol poisoning is also often misunderstood. In the movies, we see overly intoxicated people as a laughing spectacle; therefore, in real life people may mistakenly think the beginning of alcohol poisoning is humorous rather than dangerous. If the person has drunk a significant amount of alcohol (there’s no magic number, it varies from person to person, and even day to day for the same person) and the person is vomiting and passing in and out of consciousness (passing out), then they may be in the beginning stages of alcohol poisoning. This condition is not the same as someone choking on their own vomit.

Remember, alcohol is depressant, high blood alcohol levels can result in organ failure; usually while someone is passed out. Some catch it in time and get their stomach pumped, but can experience brain damage due to lack of oxygen. Other health problems can include cirrhosis of the liver, heart disease, kidney problems, and reduced blood clotting when bleeding. If the alcohol abuser suffers injuries, some treatments cannot be used by first responders or hospitals due to the presence of alcohol in the body.

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