Fraternity brothers will drink. Sometimes, they will drink too much. Sometimes, they will drink way too much. Knowing what to do in those situations is important if you are committed to your vow of being your brother’s keeper. Below is a story from my fraternity that involves a serious alcohol scare.
An influential brother in my fraternity was drinking heavy all day. He had a half gallon of bourbon, and it never left his hand. By the end of the night he was pretty drunk. Unfortunately that wasn’t an uncommon occurrence for him.
Anyway, by about one or two everyone nearly everyone had gone home from the fraternity house. The drunk brother was passed out on a couch in the house holding the empty half gallon. The three of us that were there did not know if he drank it all or not, but realized if he was even close he could have serious alcohol poisoning.
We realized when we couldn’t wake him up that he needed to go to the hospital. However, the three of us had been drinking that night too, and were not able to drive him there.
We were hesitant to call 911 because we did not want to draw this type of attention on the fraternity. We were afraid that the brother would get in trouble with the university and would be upset with us.
We knew that this could be a very serious issue. People die from alcohol poisoning, and we cared about our friend too much to let that happen. So we called 911.
Four firemen arrived almost immediately. They gave him smelling salts which got him to wake up. The firemen took his vitals and said he would be all with some food and sleep. There was no need to go to the hospital. Then they left.
The next day we apologized to the brother for calling 911 on him. He was surprised and apologized that he had got that drunk. He actually thanked us for calling 911. He realized we were only looking out for him, and he really appreciated it.
To be proactive with the university, we explained what had happened to the Greek Life advisor. Her reaction was the opposite of what I expected. She actually complimented the fraternity on our maturity by doing the right thing.
The lesson learned here is simple yet profound. If you fear a brother or someone at your party has alcohol poisoning, get them to an emergency room or call 911. No one will ever criticize your decision if you think someone’s life is in jeopardy.
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