21 Miami University students hospitalized for alcohol-related issues

Spike in alcohol-related hospital visits at Miami University
Published: Feb. 14, 2017 at 6:21 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2017 at 1:21 PM EST
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OXFORD, OH (FOX19) - Nearly two dozen Miami University students were hospitalized over the weekend for alcohol-related issues.

Oxford Fire Chief John Detherage confirmed 21 people were taken for treatment between Thursday, February 9 and Sunday, February 12.

The incidents occurred both on and off campus.

The university said it was the end of sorority rush.

"They just went through their recruitment process where every night they had structured activities, and Thursday night was the first night that all those activities were over and they were able to be out on their own," Vice President of Student Affairs Jayne Brownell said.

Miami University believes there has been a dangerous change in the drinking habits of students where a simple beer is no longer the most popular beverage of choice.

"The norm nationally now is hard alcohol, and that is why we are seeing the blood alcohol levels that we are," Brownell said.

Niche.com just ranked Miami University as the number one party school in Ohio for 2017.

Ohio Students Against Destructive Decisions, or SADD, suspects that kind of reputation leads to more peer pressure, and more peer pressure, leads to more drinking.

All of the students went to McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital.

FOX19 obtained the incident reports from Miami University Police, who responded to seven of the incidents, which occurred at the Armstrong Student Center, Phillips Hall, Minnich Hall, Swing Hall, Benton Hall and Anderson Hall.

In each of those instances, an intoxicated female student was taken to the hospital.

In addition, 10 students, both male and female, were given warnings, citations or summons for alcohol violations by Miami University Police.

Oxford Police were called to numerous incidents involving alcohol, and found people using fake IDs and driving under the influence, according to police reports.

One man was given a summons for an underage alcohol violation after he allegedly pressed "his bare buttocks against the glass, displaying it for the entire Skyline dining room to see."

Another man was found on S. Poplar Street to be "highly intoxicated, underaged and transported to the station after repeatedly saying he was going to poop his pants."

Oxford Police also stopped a "highly intoxicated, incoherent female on a street corner that was unable to walk and was being carried by two strangers." The woman, who was under the age of 21, was taken to the hospital.

From Thursday-Sunday, Oxford Police arrested 14 people on alcohol-related charges, including OVI, sale of liquor to an underage person and underage possession/consumption.

SADD believes change will start with the students. They said to know your limit, surround yourself with responsible friends, and remember you can always reach out for help.

The University said they will continue to plug away at the problem with the anti-drinking programs they have in place and hope that the message resonates with the students.

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