Published on March 8th, 2013 | by Tia McDonald0
History Doesn’t Have To Repeat Itself
March 11, 2013, will mark a full year since the 19-year-old died from alcohol poisoning at a Spring Break party. She was with friends at the Madeira Beach condo near her home in Tampa, where, according to experts, she consumed approximately 13 drinks in a short amount of time.
An autopsy report confirmed her alcohol level was over .40. It was nearly five times the legal limit when her friends put her to bed to “sleep it off,” though she never woke up.
Lauren Jadotte, 19, a junior in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at UF says she will be staying in Gainesville for part of her Spring Break. She has never had a sip of alcohol and doesn’t plan to. Jadotte makes up a small percentage of the population who do not drink.
According to the Core Institute survey, 69 percent of college students who are under the age of 21 have consumed alcohol in the past 30 days, while 82 percent admit to consuming within the year of 2012.
“To me, drinking is stupid and there is nothing good that will come from it,” Jadotte said. “I would rather go hiking, or swimming, or enjoy the other amazing things Gainesville has to offer, than to lose myself in an addiction.”
Officer Tobias, spokesperson for the Gainesville Police Department, says he does not understand how Ammon’s death has anything to do with the dangers University students will face in Gainesville. Especially since the students usually go somewhere else during Spring Break. Campus police will be taking the same precautions for Spring Break that they would for any other day of the year.
“We have units at all times, working hand and hand with the local night clubs to stop underage drinking, along with educational programs taught by UF,” Tobias said.
Ammon was a freshman and a sorority member. The Core Institutes results show that 45 percent of college freshmen have been involved in binge drinking (5.7 or more drinks a week) over a two-week period and 86 percent of Greek members indulge in a 30-day period.
“My ex-boyfriend went through an Alcoholics Anonymous course and after going to classes with him for moral support, I learned people are rediscovering themselves,” Jadotte said. “This is a transitional stage into adulthood, so take the time to connect and grow, so you are ready for success and the great opportunities in life.”
Alcohol poisoning won’t be the only concerns during spring break 2013. Fifty-five percent of binge drinkers have admitted to drinking and driving. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a young person dies every three hours in a alcohol related crash and over 23,000 women die a year from binge drinking.
“People need to be more aware of Ammon’s story and she should be used as an example, even though she probably won’t be,” Jadotte said. “With crash seminars in high school, kids don’t think it can happen to them. The only thing that will persuade them to stop is death, or the realization of the danger in alcohol.”