Editorial

Aware Awake Alive goes far and wide

Alcohol poisoning awareness program begun at Cal Poly expanded to all CSUs

letters@thetribunenews.comJuly 30, 2013 

Carson Starkey

ALBERT M. BRONSON

The CSU Chancellor’s office deserves an “A” for expanding an alcohol poisoning awareness program started at Cal Poly to all 23 California State University campuses.

The public service campaign — called Aware Awake Alive — is the work of Scott and Julia Starkey. They are the parents of Cal Poly student Carson Starkey, who died of alcohol poisoning at a fraternity event five years ago.

Among other vital lessons, Aware Awake Alive teaches students to recognize the signs of alcohol poisoning so they can call for help before it’s too late.

That’s life-saving information, and we commend CSU officials for taking the issue seriously.

Ideally, this campaign won’t stop with CSU campuses.

The program — or one like it — should be available to all young people.

After all, partying and binge drinking aren’t confined to college students; the Internet is full of news stories of high school students dying of alcohol poisoning.

Curriculum standards for California junior highs and high schools do include discussion of risky behaviors, including binge drinking.

The standards don’t, however, specify that schools should teach the symptoms of alcohol poisoning.

That’s an oversight that needs to be corrected. In the meantime, we hope that individual schools already are providing this information as part of health education classes.

By the way, if parents want to direct teens to a helpful Website — or brush up on information themselves — the Starkey family’s website http://awareawakealive.org is an excellent place to start.

SIGNS OF ALCOHOL POISONING

M: Mental Confusion U: Unresponsive S: Snoring/Gasping for Air T: Throwing Up H: Hypothermia E: Erratic Breathing L: Loss of Consciousness P: Paleness/Blueness of Skin

SOURCE: AWARE AWAKE ALIVE

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