As college football fans all over the state get ready for the big game, we have a revealing look at how so many are getting dangerously drunk on game day.
Game day partying on a college campus is almost considered a rite of passage, but the culture of extreme drinking doesn't seem to be slowing down. Hard liquor contributes to blackout partying that persists in what Nancy Derringer calls a "puke and rally culture." She's a writer for the online 'Bridge' magazine, published by the nonpartisan thinktank, The Center for Michigan.
"One of the things is most alarming is how many of these kids end up in the hospital," she says.
Bridge Magazine enlisted student journalists to track the partying at four michigan universities. Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Central Michigan University and Northern Michigan University in the UP. Each witness the same ritual: the pre-game boozefest to be followed by post-game partying and then dire consequences.
"Last year during the Michigan-MSU game in East Lansing there were over 200 ER visits that were related to alchohol," Derringer said. "That pushed the ER to something called Code Yellow status which means only desperate, life threatening - heart attacks and stroke victims - could step to the front of the line,"
It's not just a Michigan problem. Almost half of college students all over the country admit to dangerous, binge drinking.
Each year, 1,800 college students die from alchool-related injuries. More than half a million are injured under the influence, and the National Institute on Alchohol Abuse estimates every year 100,000 students are victims of alchol fueled sexaul assalt.
"If you go as far as these games and this party culture push you, you can find yourself in some life changing situations, Derringers said.
Colleges around the country are trying to figure out a solution.
The University of Nebraska has cut dangerous drinking by a third with a collaboration between the community, the university, students and parents.
You can check out 'Bridge' magazine's full investigaton here.