Partying too hard? ERs prep for 'rush week,' binge drinkers - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Partying too hard? ERs prep for 'rush week,' binge drinkers

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TEMPE, Ariz. -

A 19-year-old assaulted in an elevator within an inch of his life. That, coupled with a slew of recent incidents in the past year involving ASU fraternities, has sent several students to the emergency rooms.

And with this week being "pledge week" for many of those fraternities, some ERs here in the valley are gearing up for a busy weekend.

In March of this year, two women were rushed to the hospital after they were burned at a fraternity party. Someone threw a bottle of alcohol into a bonfire.

A month later several people were hurt in a fight at a Tempe apartment complex where fraternity members were living.

And in May a fraternity member was left unconscious with a sticky note outside a Tempe ER after he drank 20 shots of tequila at a frat party.

What are doctors doing to prepare for "rush week?"

The majority of people the ER sees on a typical weekend night are ASU students -- and the majority of the issues is binge drinking. Not only that, but underage drinking.

The hospital says it's prepared for the dozens of college students it will see this school year.

It has been a tough few months for ASU fraternities. Brawls caught on camera, parties out of control. One frat brother was even taken to the hospital with a near-deadly blood alcohol content level.

"I don't even think we've begun to see the peak of binge drinking," says Janet Backers, director for Tempe St. Luke ER

This is where many of the students end up. Tempe St. Luke's ER. With school season starting, the ER is preparing for the worst of it.

"We see a lot of students coming in with overdoses, substance abuse, binge drinking," says Backers.

On a typical Friday night, the ER will see about 60 patients mostly related to binge drinking. Now with fraternity rush week underway, doctors here expect to see even more underage drinking.

"On the weekend during weeks of rush week, we see a little more partying going on, a little bit more inappropriate behavior."

Some ASU fraternities are now trying battle off the bad reputation.

"Those are individuals doing it, don't think it has to do with the community itself. That's why I'm kind of looking at fraternities that don't have that bad reputation," says student Chase Whiting.

Delta Sigma Phi is holding a rush tailgate without alcohol.

"As a brotherhood it's not always focused on how we party and what we drink it's more the bond we create," says Austin Jack of Delta Sigma Phi.

And if ER patients happen to be frat brothers, this ER won't take notice, welcoming anyone needing help.

"Have a good time we are welcoming them back but be responsible, be accountable for your actions. And we are going to be here whatever needs they have."

The hospital says binge drinking is just a growing problem, and they are seeing it more and more in younger patients -- even high school students.

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