My day in the Ann Arbor drunk tank… with chest pains

I spent all day yesterday, and much of today, at the University of Michigan hospital. I’d gone in at about 10:00 AM on Saturday with chest pains, and, after putting me through the standard battery of tests, the folks in charge told me that I’d need to stay the night and talk with someone from the cardiology team the following morning. “They’ll probably want to give you a stress test,” one of the many nurses I’d come in contact with told me as she wheeled my bed down to an open nook in the far west corner of the emergency wing. “This area,” she said, “is typically reserved for patients who have been put on the cardiac protocol.” Today, though, given that it was a football Saturday in Ann Arbor, I was told that the mix of patients might be “a little different” from what a person in my condition might normally expect.

And thus began my day in the drunk tank.

MMdrunktankFirst, by way of background, it’s my understanding that Ann Arbor has a public intoxication ordinance which requires that individuals be brought to the hospital when they’re thought to be inebriated to the point where they might be of harm to themselves or others. In other jurisdictions, as I understand it, people in this situation might be taken to the police station, taken home, or just left to their own devices, depending on their level of intoxication. In Ann Arbor, though, they’re sent to the hospital, which, I suppose you could argue, in some less life-threatening instances, could result in a misallocation of resources, given that some number of these people probably don’t require hospital beds. This isn’t, of course, to say that they shouldn’t be taken to the hospital. Having spent a good deal of time in the ER on Saturday, though, I’m just curious as to what the polices are, and where the bar is set. For instance, I got the impression that every inebraited student is taken immediately to the ER, and given a bed in accordance with hospital protocol, avoiding the waiting room altogether. And I’d be curious to know how it was that this policy came about. I understand, of course, that if they aren’t taken directly in, many of these people would likely try to get out, but I’m curious as to how this policy effects others waiting to see a doctor, and whether or not other municipals handle the “drunk but not life-threatening” cases any differently. For instance, I’m wondering if any other university hospitals employ game day clinic areas for cases like these.

By the way, they apparently refer to this section of the emergency room that I was in, at least unofficially, as the “drunk tank.” I heard the term used at least twice during my stay. I heard one person use the phrase about an hour into my visit, I think in reference to the man to my right, who I’m pretty sure I could hear relieving himself on the floor. And I heard it used again a few hours later by a nurse who, apologizing profusely for what had been going on around me, had taken the initiative to find me a room of my own somewhere else. (I should add that the nurses and doctors were awesome, and, as far as I could tell, didn’t use the term “drunk tank” within earshot of their inebriated patients, to whom they were nothing but respectful, even when being criticized and talked down to, as I could hear happen on a few occasions. I should also add that I didn’t ask to be moved, as I found it to be extremely interesting watching the ER staff work. (I was incredibly impressed by them.) Nonetheless, they moved me away for approximately four hours, only to bring me back after all of the drunk students on the wing had settled down and gone to sleep.)

If you ever find yourself tempted to think that binge drinking isn’t a significant issue in Ann Arbor, I’d encourage you to spend a football Saturday in the University of Michigan ER.

Yesterday’s football game, the last home game of the season, was scheduled to begin at 4:30, and, by 2:00, the students were already beginning to make their way in, escorted by EMTs. Given the way my bed was situated, I couldn’t see a great deal, but I did pick up on several distinct conversations, most all of which began with students being asked, “Do you know where you are?” (They rarely did.)

For the purposes of this post, I’d like to just share one example… that of a young woman who came in nearly comatose, having been found covered in vomit in an Ann Arbor alley. Of all the folks I’d hear that day, it was her that I was most worried about.

I could see her come in. The EMTs brought her down the corridor, strapped to a board, telling the hospital staff where she’d been found. Her head was hanging to one side, like her neck couldn’t support the weight of it. One of the nurses, I remember, commented to one of his coworkers that the human head weights 13 pounds, and it takes a lot of muscle control to hold it up. When she first came in, before I realized that her admission was alcohol related, I honestly thought that she had an advanced neuromuscular disease of some kind. As the conversation between nurses continued, though, I put the pieces together… Within a few minutes of arriving, and being told that she was at a hospital, she began vomiting.

“Is that jello shots or daiquiris?”, I heard one nurse ask.

Shortly after the vomiting, they told her that they would have to get her out of her wet clothes. It was at this point that she first began speaking words that I could understand, instead of just groaning incomprehensibly. The word she said, and repeated, was “No.” It began when the nurses started to remove her clothes. She was saying “No” and thrashing around in her bed. It only lasted for a moment. I assume that she eventually began to understand that she was, indeed, in a hospital, but, in that moment when she was fighting back, I truly did think that she felt as though she was going to be sexually assaulted, and it broke my heart. (From what I could tell, the nurses did everything possible to explain to her what they were going to do before doing it, and why it was necessary, but I just don’t think she was able to comprehend what was happening once it began.)

After getting her dry, and putting her on an IV, I think she must have slept for a while. Or at least it sounded like she was sleeping. Eventually, though, a doctor came around and woke her up, asking again if she knew where she was. She responded clearly this time, with the name of a University of Michigan fraternity.

An hour or so later, she’d get out of her bed, stumble into the corridor, and ask where the bathroom was. A nurse came to her aid with a gown, and took her to the restroom. And, walking back from the restroom, I’d hear the young woman say two things very clearly to the nurse. “I wanted to get into a sorority so bad,” she said, followed by, “They have more rights than everyone else.” I wanted to get the quote right, so I picked up my phone and typed in the words.

I don’t know what her situation was, whether she was in a sorority, or thinking about joining one, or just talking nonsense, but I’d spend the rest of my night thinking about frat culture, Michigan football, the privilege afforded the affluent and the business of binge drinking.

They moved me to another room, to get me away from the intoxicated students, but I kept thinking about it, and all of my conversations with hospital staff were colored by the experience. People would come into my room to poke and prod at me, and we’d invariably start talking about what it’s like to work at the hospital on a football Saturday. Someone told me that it’s always this way. Someone else said that it’s gotten worse since we started having night games. Yet someone else told me that another student was found passed out, nearly nude, “by the railroad tracks” before the game had even started. The clear message I took away is that young people in Ann Arbor, or at least the ones who make it to the hospital, are incredibly lucky.

So, with all this running through my head, I spent a lot of time thinking about my own daughter, who, I hope, is still several years away from having to make choices about frat parties and alcohol. I thought about this young woman in the bed next to me, and what, if anything, I should share about her experience. I don’t want to scare my daughter, but I’d like for her to know that actions have consequences, and that often the guys at the frat party may not have your best interests in mind. Furthermore, I’d like for her to know that it’s important who you associate yourself with, and that women who you choose to be with because you want “more rights than everyone else” may not be the kind of women who will watch your back when you’re in harm’s way. (And how telling is that line about wanting to be in a sorority because you want “more rights than everyone else”?)

As for me, I’m OK. Having experienced some tightness in my chest on Friday night, and again on Saturday morning, I’d decided to call my doctor’s office, and it was suggested that I go in to the emergency room, just to be sure that nothing was wrong. I was expecting that they’d just do a few tests and let me go, but apparently something that I said made them think that I should be observed, in spite of the fact that my blood work, EKG and x-rays all looked good. According to the first doctor who saw me, “Even though you don’t have a family history of heart disease, this heart pain that you’re experiencing could be a warning sign that, without intervention, there may be issues ahead.” So the decision was made to have me stay the day, see a cardiologist the next morning, and have a stress test, during which, I expected, they’d try to trigger a cardiac episode.

So I sat in bed for a day, watching documentaries on the Kennedy assassination, which had taken place exactly 51 years previously, and worrying about what my kids might be thinking, as the last person they knew to be admitted to the hospital never came home. I tried, by way of text message, to downplay the seriousness of the situation, but I know that it must have been bothering them.

The stress test, by the way, never happened. After meeting with the cardiac team this morning, it was decided that it wouldn’t effect their diagnosis, which was that I have very bad acid reflux. Apparently the acid in my stomach has been traveling up my esophagus, spilling into my airway, and making its way into my lungs, triggering coughing fits, which, in turn, have led to muscular skeletal damage in my chest, explaining the pain. I was given medication, told to lose some weight, and cautioned to stay away from caffeine and spicy foods. The pain is still pretty bad, but I’m relieved that it’s not heart-related… So, don’t worry about me. It looks like I’ll still be around for a while.

As for binge drinking at U-M, a nurse put it to me this way, “These are wealthy kids in dorms, and this is what they do.” I know that, every few years or so, when a student drinks himself or herself to death on a nearby campus, we begin to take the subject seriously, but, given what I saw last night, I’m wondering if it might make sense to be more proactive. I know, given privacy issues, that you couldn’t really film in the emergency room, but one wonders if it might make sense, at the very least, to embed a reporter or two on football Saturdays, in order to share the stories (without names) of those who wind up here. Maybe it wouldn’t help all that much, as people at that age are probably just going to do what they’re going to do, but I don’t see as how it would hurt for young people to, if only for a few minutes, put themselves in the shoes of a freshman, abandoned by her friends, and found collapsed in an alley. As kids are inundated with media glorifying binge drinking, shouldn’t there at least be a channel or two sharing the consequences of said behavior in an interesting, compelling, non-moralizing way? For instance, what if the Michigan Daily embedded a reporter or two the night of the next Michigan home game and then attempted to interview people anonymously upon their release? I think that could be a pretty powerful series that might actually help a few students.

Oh, and if you ever find yourself in the hospital, be sure to order the vanilla pudding. They serve Kozy Shack.

[note: I should add that I struggled with whether or not to post this. Even though I didn’t share any specifics about the patients I’d encountered during my stay, it still felt as though I was walking a line. In the end, I think I did the right thing, in that I think that an open, honest discussion on binge drinking is a good thing, and I don’t think that I could have illustrated that necessity without sharing at least a glimpse of what I saw. So, I chose to focus on one story, and strip out all of the details. I did not mention this person’s name, what she looked like, where she was found, what fraternity she named when asked if she knew where she was, or any number of other specifics that I was aware of. As I do not think it’s possible for someone to identify this person based upon what I’ve written, my hope is that no lines were crossed. And, if I did get close to a line, my hope is that the positive to come from this conversation will outweigh any negative.]

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36 Comments

  1. Mariah Cherem
    Posted November 23, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Glad you are OK! Would it be against the law if we just all went and live-tweeted from the ER on game-days next year?

  2. Posted November 23, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    From what I gather, there’s no waiting when you’re a drunk student brought to the hospital. At least I seem to recall having been told that they’re immediately brought back. I suspect that’s the right thing to do, as you don’t want kinds vomiting on people, and perhaps running away, but it does kind of obscure the problem. It does seem like there would be a lot of potential for good research in the area, though. I’m not sure, however, if such research would be welcome by the Big 10.

  3. Erika
    Posted November 23, 2014 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting observations. I don’t know that I would have anything substantive to say about the subject, other than that I was fortunate in that the times that I did drink to oblivion at MSU, I had friends around to take care of me and the few times when I was in a situation where I’m pretty sure I had been targeted for sexual assault, I was sober enough to make it known that I wasn’t going to go down without a fight (stopping the situation).

    I am also hoping that you will do a future post about your medical bills following this episode. I took a friend to the UM ER for breathing trouble several years ago and was shocked to learn that her less than 24 hours of observation and a couple of breathing treatments were billed to insurance at over $10,000.

  4. Posted November 23, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    I know that there’s binge drinking across our community, and that it’s not just a problem of affluence, but more than one person I spoke with seemed to indicate that the problem has grown worse at UM with the rising net worth of the undergraduate student body.

  5. Posted November 23, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Erika, I was thinking about posting a follow up once I discovered how much it all cost. My out of pocket was $100, but I suspect that it’s difficult to spend a night in the ER for less than $10k. I do remember one nurse referencing the fact that the parents of these kids, once EMT charges are factored in, can be hit with up to $20,000 in charges.

  6. Elviscostello
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    As far as ER charges go, my son, who fell under the ACA and was able to stay on our insurance, went to the ER for what turned out to be a kidney stone. He had MRI, pain meds, and was there for about 12 hours. We got a copy of the bill. Our share was $150.00 of an over $10,000.00 bill. He was working in a minimum wage job, with no bennies at the time. He would have been a medical debtor…

  7. Posted November 24, 2014 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this extremely candid blog. I have seen the extreme level of (mostly underage) drinking at U of M, especially on Football Saturdays. I have witnessed many students passed out and/or puking on the streets of downtown Ann ARbor. On one such night, I happened to be in 7-11 shopping at the same time as an on-duty A2 Police Officer. I mentioned my concern to him about the unusually drunk students and asked why more wasn’t being done to stop the problem. He said he shared my concern, but that, unfortunately, the issue is political and their hands are tied. I didn’t ask for more information, as i was in shock about what he DID say, but I wish I understood where the pressure was coming from TO ALLOW UNDERAGE DRINKING. Is it the Budweiser sponsors of football or something? I don’t get it. These kids are getting hurt by getting too intoxicated. If we are going to allow it, lets change the law (and make them all take a class on how to drink responsibly, if at all). smh

  8. Kristin
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    Pudding? I feel like nothing good is coming my way at the hospital next week. I’m bringing a toaster oven. Too bad that was the last game. I could have sold hot pockets in the drunk tank.

  9. jcp2
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Is your point that people who are so intoxicated that they are disoriented, sick, or passed out should not be taken to the hospital?

    Once these people present there, the law does not allow the hospital emergency room to turn away these patients.

    http://www.acep.org/Clinical—Practice-Management/Blood-Alcohols,-Labs-and-Minor-Treatments-in-the-ED–Is-a-Medical-Screening-Exam-Required-by-EMTALA-/

    The standard of care is to triage such patients in the emergency room immediately as they are of a severe acuity level.

    http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/hospital/esi/esi2.html

  10. Anne M. Evans
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I worked in the residence halls of a large state university (in Michigan) in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Binge drinking was a huge concern for us then. The fact it’s still so hard to manage is disheartening.

  11. Posted November 24, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Superbly said, Mark. What eye-opening, important observations you share here.

    I hope they’re widely read, reposted discussed and followed up on by The Michigan Daily or MLive, for starters.

    Your compassionate concern shows that your heart is healthy in all senses.

  12. Charlie Carter
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I rarely make my way from Ypsi into A2 on game days, but happened to on Saturday, somewhat by mistake. Just a quick ride up State Street around 3pm gave us a glance at hoards of students with red cups in hand, partying on porches & making their way toward the Big House. I observed one very inebriated student excitedly & purposely “woooo!” his way off the curb & into the middle of the street, arms aloft, before a friend snatched him by the jacket hood & pulled him back onto the sidewalk, just a split-second before a car turned the corner where he had stood. Before I even reached the Union, two ambulances raced past me in direction I had just come from.

    Anyway, glad you’re ok, & I don’t mean to frighten anyone, but maybe discovering that acid reflux this way is a blessing in disguise. I lost 2 family friends (they were brothers) to the disease because they didn’t understand the severity of it & weren’t taking care of it properly.

  13. Lynne
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Americans have a very messed up relationship with things like sex and alcohol. Binge drinking in early adulthood has become the cultural norm. Most people don’t end up in the ER though. I think the answer is to at least have conversations with young people about how to drink responsibly. One of my mother’s friends told me once of a trick of getting a brown beer bottle and then refilling it all night with water in the bathroom because the pressure to drink at parties in college can be so intense. Instead we just say “don’t drink” which is about as unrealistic as telling kids not to have sex.

    There are all kinds of things we can do to improve things. One would be to allow drinking in stages so that people can learn how to handle drinking. I actually think drinking classes wouldn’t be too wrong. My parents did that for me by allowing me wine at dinner and allowing me to get drunk at home once so that I properly understand about hangovers and consequently I was less prone to binge drinking in college than many of my peers. Europe is much more tolerant about drinking and less tolerant about binge drinking and so they have less of a problem than we have here.

    Another idea is to legalize marijuana. There is a known substitution effect there and the more available marijuana is, the less people drink. Marijuana is much less harmful than alcohol so frankly, encouraging marijuana usage is one good way to reduce alcohol usage.

    Anyways, I am glad your heart is ok and wouldn’t wish you any kind of ill health but I have to admit that I certainly enjoyed this behind the scenes look at life in the ER on a football saturday

  14. Scott T.
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Binge drinking is (obviously) a problem; dangerous & costly. However, given our society’s experiences with prohibition of various kinds (formerly alcohol, currently for most drugs), consider that attempting to enforce an absolute prohibition on underage drinking may cause as much harm as good. If the most harmful problem is dangerous binge drinking, how could we reduce that behavior (and its harms) without necessarily trying to police alcohol out entirely?

  15. Scott T.
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Lynne — those are some excellent suggestions.

    My suspicion is the bigger problem is a fundamental cultural one. Kids, especially well-off kids, are extremely protected and limited (over-scheduled, constantly monitored, etc) right up until they are sent off to school. The combination of wide-open freedom and their well-padded existence up to the point means they haven’t had the experience of testing boundaries and paying the consequences, so it is very easy to go too far.

  16. lorie
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Irony for me – guess what U is studying this extensively?

    http://home.isr.umich.edu/releases/extreme-binge-drinking-how-common-is-it-among-high-school-seniors/

  17. Dan from Austin
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Great post- glad you’re not dying of heart disease.

    The whole drunk tank ER thing is fascinating. I wonder if there’s a situation like this in Austin?
    Looking it up, it seems that APD just commandeer taxis to take drunk people home.

  18. CED
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad you’re ok, Mark, though it sounds like you have some changes to do. I wish you the best with a successful readjustment.
    As for the binge drinking–I’m very glad to read that AA and U-M have a mandatory ER visit. Alcohol poisoning is no joke. Several years ago, I am sure I saved the life of a very young drunk student. I was driving along State Street near Hoover, and saw a tall, thin young man staggering along the sidewalk, so rubber-legged that his friends had to hold him up.

    I stopped my car because I was so concerned, and went up to ask this young kid if he was OK. He stuck out his hand at me and said, “Wish me a happy birthday! I just turned 21, and I’ve just had 21 shots.”

    His friends assured me that they would “watch him” but I was not at all confident that would be enough. He was really, really slight and I didn’t think it was likely that he could process all that alcohol quickly enough. I called 911, reported the incident and the house they went into, and waited. Very soon after, an EMS bus showed up. Shortly after that, I saw an EMT carry the drunk kid out. They didn’t put him on a stretcher, just carried him out. He was so boneless he looked like Frieda’s cat (for old Peanuts’ fans). I trust he was OK because I saw no news reports otherwise. But what foolish kids they all were. 21 shots.

    As for campus rape–you have seen the scandal breaking out at U-VA, haven’t you? It’s not a safe place. Read the latest expose in Rolling Stone about it, if you have a strong stomach. The Pres there is our own recent Provost, Teresa Sullivan. Unfortunately, I don’t expect her to weather this storm, or to be very effective in bringing the necessary changes.

    That said, I don’t think that U-VA is the only campus with a rape culture. Not in this society.

  19. Posted November 24, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Let’s look at the “more rights” statement…what the hell does that mean? I was in a sorority in college (a small, liberal arts college) and the only difference was that we could always get into fraternity parties without having to pay any sort of “cup fee” and I think non-Greeks had to be on an invite list.

    This whole thing is incredibly sad…they are basically the idle rich and this is what they do, I guess, but wow…I can’t imagine being so wasted that I would literally not know where I was. (I blacked out once–it was during law school and I was up to no good that night! That was scary enough for me!)

  20. Posted November 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Oh, by the way–glad you are okay :)

  21. Ypsiosaurus Rex
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Mark, perhaps you should return to a more plant based diet. Your own alcohol consumption and animal eating seems to be catching up with you. In case you didn’t know, consuming both raise the acidity in your stomach.

    Here is a baby step for you: try starting the day with water and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. It helps alkalize the body.

    Do you see any irony in the fact you often write about your own drinking and even end your post encouraging others to eat “pudding”. Enjoy your meds.

  22. TheBigPicture
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Your picture of binge drinking is well described. But let’s add it to the big picture of big-time college football:
    1. The games serve as an excuse for students to go binge drinking.
    2. The games produce a huge amount of revenue for the university and sellers of alcohol.
    3. The coaches and other athletic department officials make millions of dollars.
    4. The athletes earn nothing, risk injury, and are not put into a position to take advantage of their scholarships (i.e., they simply don’t have the time to be students).
    The whole thing is just sordid.

  23. Posted November 24, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    I am glad it was not a heart related-incident except for the sadness of the scenes you witnessed which were heartbreaking. That said, acid reflux is something to be taken seriously. I hope you follow instructions!
    As for the alcohol related events you witnessed? It is a right of passage in fraternity and sorority life. That is what needs changing. Those with more money can afford more alcohol, but it is not just in universitity life that these things occur. Prevention and education efforts like the infamous Reagan era “Just Say No”, and special drug and alcohol prevention efforts by the police in schools have not had a substantial affect on this problem. Studies by U of M itself confirms this. Things like good parenting, including setting and enforcing limits and rules, respect for others, secure, stable and healthy relationships, and a sense of what is termed “self esteem” appear to make a difference. And…..

  24. Posted November 24, 2014 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, the same drinking epidemic is happening here at EAstern and every college across the country (world?). The Police Blotter in the EMU Echo almost always has at least one incidence of “police were called because an intoxicated subject is laying in the hallway/in the bushes/on the floor in JImmy John’s, etc. They are always transported to the hospital, which is a good thing.

    We have to realize that the underage drinkers are GETTING the alcohol somewhere, like maybe stores are not checking IDs or kids are hangin outside the stores asking people to buy it for them, etc. It’s a real problem.

    But, the biggest problem causing them to be in this comatose condition is that a lot of the alcohol is such poor quality, it makes for a disastrous chemical reaction inside our bodies. Drinking anything that is packaged in metal or plastic is a recipe for disaster, and mixing it with genetically modified soda causes mind numbness and extra-aneous confusion. Most of the alcohol is made from genetically modified grains like corn et al anyway.

    Organic alcohol is the only way to go. We should teach Alcohol Consumption 101 in 9th grade. And then make people retake it in several versions every year for the next 10 years. With updates every five. I live across the street from a very busy liquor store. NOthing makes sense around here sometimes. smh

  25. Posted November 24, 2014 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    But, heck, maybe people have to get mind-erasingling drunk to make it OK to watch guys run into each other so hard that they get permanent brain damage. LIke the Roman games in the Colliseum… violent, deadly, and apparent “fun” for the masses.
    Yikes. What have we become??

    Hmmm… If people didn’t murder and eat our animal friends, maybe we wouldn’t be so mean to each other (and ourselves/bodies).

    SAVE THE TURKEYS! Eat a TURNIP! (they are in season, too)

  26. Posted November 25, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I am glad you are not dead.

  27. Lynne
    Posted November 25, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    createharmony, one of the reasons why I am not convinced that cracking down on liquor stores will help much is that alcohol is actually pretty easy to make. In high school, my friends and I made kool-aid wine which, as you can imagine, is about the most disgusting thing you can imagine but it will get you drunk.

  28. Eel
    Posted November 25, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    At the risk of derailing what has been a positive conversation, Lynne, could you please post the recipe for Kool-Aid wine?

  29. Posted November 25, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Lynne,
    That is a good point. I have had a few friends who have brewed over the years. I had no idea you could make Kool-Aid wine! I probably would have done it in highschool if I had known. I suspect not everyone is as knowledgeable as your crowd and that, in the case of underage students, most of them are not brewing/haven’t learned the skill yet/don’t have time, etc. It still might be useful to figure out where they are getting it to curtail the ones that haven’t gotten crafty with brewing. Thanks for commenting tho cuz I learned something new today! (heading out for kool-aid…. jk! lol)

  30. Lynne
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Kool Aid wine recipe? heh. I don’t remember it exactly. I am sure you can find it on the internet if you want the exact measurements.

    Basically we made kool-aid, added yeast (activated first in warm water), put it in two liter bottles with a balloon on top, secured with a rubber band. Let sit in your closet for a few weeks and voila -disgusting kool aid wine. You know when it is done when the balloon stops inflating and you should poke a couple of holes with a pin into the balloon to prevent explosions. I suppose you could use real grape juice if you wanted to be fancy. LOL. It is basically the same process for making any kind of wine but instead of juice you use koolaid.

  31. Lynne
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    createharmony, never underestimate the resourcefulness of teenagers who want to get drunk!

  32. Meta
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    If reporters are looking for an opportunity to see how bad binge drinking is on campus look no further.

    Interim athletic director Jim Hackett said Sunday at halftime of the Michigan-Michigan State basketball game that the Wolverines will host at least one night football game in 2015.

    He also said that either home games against Michigan State or Ohio State are possibilities, just not both.

    Read more:
    http://www.mlive.com/wolverines/index.ssf/2015/02/jim_hackett_says_michigan_will.html

  33. ER Nurse
    Posted September 30, 2015 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m a nurse at UofM ER. I’m so glad you’re okay!! Thank you for writing about this! Alcohol intoxication is potentially a medical emergency, but many of our other patients are just as sick– if not sicker– and it galls me that drunk kids go immediately back while someone with a headache or abdominal pain sits in the waiting room. By the way, your post is being widely shared on Facebook among ER staff! :)

  34. ER Murse
    Posted September 30, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    They are colloquially called “339ers” appearantly a reference to the supposed public act that directs police and EMS to bring people with an altered mental status to the ER for observation. There are a number of frequent flyers aka serial inebriates who are in the ED every day theirs story is usually one of chronic persistent mental illness, addiction, and homelessness (look up ‘million dollar Murray). In contrast , there are these crunk college kids coming in yelling “do you know who my dad is?!?! I’m going to sue all of you!” Only to find them a bit more reticent in the AM inquiring sheepishly “…are my parents going to find out about this?”

  35. Peter Larson
    Posted October 1, 2015 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    College kids get taken to the ER because they probably have health insurance. Poor kids are probably left to lay in the bushes somewhere.

  36. Elliott
    Posted April 25, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Se also: https://www.reddit.com/r/Documentaries/comments/4gai4e/louis_theroux_drinking_to_oblivion_2016_louis/

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