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College student's drinking mistake nearly killed her

Sasha Brown-Worsham has written for dozens of publications over the course of her years as a journalist and blogger. She lives outside NYC with her three children, husband, and multiple pets. She is working on her first novel.

Woman explains why she won't be taking 21 shots on her birthday

Binge drinking is a huge problem on college campuses. We all see the headlines. We all likely lived it. But one young woman is attacking the binge drinking culture with a viral blog post that tells her story. It's a terrifying one.

Hanna Lottritz turned 21 this past week, but she didn't take the 21 shots. She didn't go out and drink until she blacked out. The reason? Last summer, Lottritz almost died from imbibing too much at a concert with friends. When she arrived at the hospital, she was unconscious and not breathing on her own. Her blood alcohol level was .41. That is five times the legal limit.

According to Lottritz:

"This situation could have been so much worse. Fortunately for me, I had good people around when all of this took place. I could have easily been taken advantage of when I passed out. I could’ve been left alone to “sleep it off.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “Let them sleep it off, they’ll be fine in the morning,” but I’m alive today because my friends got me help. Don’t take a chance if you see a friend passed out from drinking too much. Get them help as soon as possible. I’m very lucky to have made a full recovery, but I know there are others who won’t be as lucky. So please drink responsibly and make sure your friends do too. Watch out for friends, family, even strangers, and take care of them when you suspect they might be suffering from alcohol poisoning. Know the symptoms and be safe."

Her life was saved by her friends. But also, what struck me about this story is the fact that her blood alcohol shot up so quickly. She went from not drunk to blind wasted in a matter of minutes. And that's the message she most needs to get across.

It's not just kids who binge drink, either. More and more, grown-ups, people in their 20's, 30's, and beyond are letting off steam by imbibing too much. This leads to drunk driving, bad sexual choices, falls, and yes, even death. Alcohol poisoning is no joke. And it can happen so quickly.

Last month I was in Mexico with family and we went to a wine bar. We also got some tequila shots. I am not a drinker, so taking three tequila shots and two glasses of wine took me from sober and calm to nearly blacked out and puking. The next day I was horrifically hung over. And I am a mom who is in her late 30's with a husband and three kids.

It can happen to anyone. Sure, it's a funny story I tell to my friends, but I was lucky I didn't drink more. It happened in seconds. I am not a drinker, but I lost control and very much paid the (much milder) price.

People think alcohol isn't as dangerous as drugs. After all, why would it be legal and readily available if it were so bad? But it's simply not true. Alcohol can poison and kill you in seconds. As parents, we need to watch our kids, but as people we need to watch ourselves. And our friends, lest a cocktail party turn out deadly.

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