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Lexington doctor warns about dangers of excessive drinking

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 11:09 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - For young people heading to college, navigating a new life of drinking, parties and keeping up with friends can be hard. And following the news of Lofton Hazelwood’s death, a Lexington doctor is urging students to look out for one another.

“Especially if you’re not someone who has been drinking for a long time or who has a tolerance. It’s really to be very careful, so not drinking in excess or too quickly,” emergency physician Dr. Ryan Stanton said. “The problem is when you’re around friends or others that may peer pressure you to try to drink quickly, you drink faster than your body can process it.”

Then, Dr. Stanton said you feel fine at first, until your body starts to process the alcohol.

“Don’t drink more than one drink in an hour, make sure you have designated drivers and ideally have someone there who is sober that can be there to help watch out for people,” Dr. Stanton said.

Dr. Stanton said in the ER, they typically see falls, broken bones and other alcohol-related injuries. And in the worst possible cases, they see people die, typically from airway blockages.

“Unfortunately, this is not the first young person I’ve seen in this situation. You hate to see somebody who has so much life ahead of them have it ended so abruptly at the hands of alcohol,” Dr. Stanton said.

Dr. Stanton said if anyone seems to be having trouble breathing or has a blocked airway, it’s best to bring them to the ER immediately.

There will be a vigil Thursday night for Hazelwood on UK’s campus at 6:00 p.m. at the Newman Center. A mass will follow at 7:30 p.m. and organizers said everyone is welcome.

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