Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Is Anyone Out There?

This month is shaping up to be the busiest February ever for the Amherst Fire Department with "station coverage" calls issued by Dispatch seven times this past weekend.  At one point a little over a half hour expired before station coverage was attained.

Fortunately fire did not come calling during that exposed time period because The Beast, once unleashed, grows exponentially.

And exceedingly fast.

Note one-third of the medical calls to UMass were substance abuse calls (one of them a passed out 16 year old boy) as were one-out-of-two to Amherst College.


Anonymous said...

Welcome to Amherst - just don't cut yourself, start a fire, or get into an accident because if you do, you might die waiting for help (no fault of the wonderful police and fire department). Sort of like living 300 years ago. Perfect!!!

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, I have to call you on your statistical methods -- while technically correct that one is "half" of two calls (to AC), it's not statistically valid. I'm also not quite sure how you conclude the "third" figure for Planet UMess, either.

I do find two things rather interesting though -- first, the female "psychological" at the UMPD station -- why was she at the police station in the first place? There may be a legitimate reasion THIS TIME but I'm saying something here.

I also find the "vomiting" runs, including the one to the UMPD, to also be interesting. Why/when is "vomiting" a medical emergency requiring hospitalization?

In other words, what would cause an outbreak of medically significant vomiting *and* have one such person at UMPD?

Food intoxication in a dining commons is one possibility. (Most people would call this "food poisoning" but public health people don't because it's the byproducts of the microbes that grew in the food which produced either ETOH or other things, some quite fatal, that affect humans almost immediately upon consumption.)

It happens, but it wouldn't explain the kid in the cop's cage -- nor would a particularly virulent strain of something like the flu.

I'm thinking "DRUGS" here -- and not legal ones. And Larry, it's time to stop thinking about beer and realize what you really are dealing with....

Dr. Ed said...

And I'll add something else here Larry -- as much as anyone wants to say about kegs of beer (and I won't disagree), beer is only 3%-5% alcohol -- 95% of the liquid is other stuff which serves as something of a limit of how much can get into someone before you have a medical issue.

(And you really can't throw kegs at cops the way you can throw cans & bottles -- and two officers can pick up a keg & toss it into the trunk of a cruiser, at which point the alcohol source is gone. I always thought banning kegs was counterproductive to law enforcement efforts, but I digress.)

Drugs, by contrast are concentrated. Using Ibuprofen as an example, there is 200 mg in each jelcap and 160 of those in a plastic bottle smaller than a beer can. That's slightly over the LD-50 level for a 50 KG person, i.e. most college kids, and LD-50 stands for "Lethal Dose for 50%" -- the level at which at least half the humans taking it will die.

In other words, I can hold a LD-50 dose of this in my hand -- I can't hold a LD-50 dose of beer in my hand. And while I don't know the LD-50 level of, say, Bacardi 151, I'm still thinking it has a greater volume than this.

Hence drugs are more dangerous on that level alone and when you add that something which is illegal is inherently not legally mandated to have strict dose control levels, these kids really know neither exactly what they are taking nor how much of it they are taking.

That's scary.

That's scary even if one were to accept the legitimate "recreational" use of these substances.

Larry, this is why I think that Higher Education in general and Amherst in particular made a mistake on clamping down on beer. I don't remember being as worried about drugs 20 years ago...

I don't remember "good" kids dropping dead from Molly -- and I do remember absolutely everyone freaking out when that happened (once) from Heroin. Two decades later, anyone want to speculate on how much Heroin is in the ARHS???