Missouri Western freshman hospitalized from alcohol poisoning

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A Missouri Western freshman was rushed to the hospital due to alcohol poisoning.

Members of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity drove Kai Gray to the hospital last month after he passed out. Gray’s blood alcohol content level was .38.

“I was pretty much an immature freshman and, at the party I was, at I had too much to drink and woke up in the hospital,” Gray said.

Gray had some advice for those who encounter drinking in college life.

“If you’re not going to limit yourself, then stay away from it,” Gray said. “And hard liquors kill.”

Several blood alcohol content calculators show that a 160 lb. male would have to consume 16 drinks over a two hours period to reach .36 blood alcohol content.  These drinks are one 12 oz. beer, a shot of 80 proof liquor or a 5 oz. glass of wine.

According to a blood alcohol content chart on the Phi Sigma Kappa website, Gray was close to death. A blood alcohol content of .40 is considered lethal.

Gray has directly seen the effects that an incident like this can have on family and friends.

“Having my friends tell me they visited me while I was unconscious, that’s a scary thought, and it really made me understand that I need to change the way I’m living my life,” Gray said.

Director of Student Engagement Don Willis believes that underage drinking is an ongoing problem and situation that must be dealt with at Missouri Western.

“We’re always trying to address the issue,” Willis said.

Kai Gray poses for a pciture taken earlier in the semester   Photo | Robin Gann
Kai Gray poses for a pciture taken earlier in the semester Photo | Robin Gann

To help combat this concern, the Center for Student Engagement has developed several seminars and student activities to raise awareness about drinking.

The University Happy Hour, where student organizations serve mocktails during the week of homecoming, is one such activity for students to learn about the negative effects of drinking.

“It does help that we are a dry campus,” Willis said. “But still, it’s also about getting the information out there to educate people about the matter.”

However, being a dry campus requires students to go off campus to drink and find a designated driver.

Around four days after the incident, Gray received a “Minor in Possession: by Consumption” outside of the bar known as The Shaft.

“I was getting paid to be a [designated driver], and when I went to go pick up my friends from the bar, I ended up getting in trouble,” Gray said.

Gray didn’t get arrested but was issued a citation for a minor infraction. He also says that he was not drinking, and he was not given a breathalyzer at the time.

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