UF students are making more alcohol-related emergency calls, and a GatorWell official said that might not be a bad thing.
In Fall 2010, paramedics examined or took to the hospital five students, according to information from Maureen Miller, GatorWell’s Coordinator for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention. A year later, 24 were examined or transported.
Miller told the UF Community Alcohol Coalition on Monday morning that students could be responding to the medical amnesty policy, which withholds charges and school discipline when students call in alcohol abuse cases.
She said after the meeting that the policy went into effect April 2011.
There have been eight calls so far this semester, the same as the total for Spring 2011.
Dave Kratzer, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs, said the policy is a good alternative to students letting drunk friends “sleep it off.”
“We think we’ve taken the fear out of the process of calling for help,” he said.
He pointed out that no UF students have died from alcohol this year.
Freshman Molly Ammon died from alcohol poisoning in Spring 2011, and her friends and family recently created a Facebook page encouraging students — underage or not — to call 911 when needed.
Miller said she will educate incoming students about alcohol abuse at Preview. She met with dorm resident assistants last week.
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Chief of Police for Santa Fe College Ed Book speaks about underage drinking on Monday morning in Emerson Alumni Hall.