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Student dies of alcohol poisoning at party in Ibaraki

27 Comments

An 18-year-old university student in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, has died of suspected alcohol poisoning after celebrating with friends at his home, police said Tuesday.

According to police, the youth was drinking with fellow members of the University of Tsukuba swimming club at his apartment on Sunday to celebrate the successful completion of a swimming competition. TBS repoprted that the boy, who was under the legal drinking age of 20, was consuming alcohol with 10 friends from around 7:30 p.m. At around 10:30 p.m., another student called the emergency services to report that the boy had turned pale. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Other students present at the gathering were quoted by police as saying the boy had been drinking beer and umeshu, a Japanese spirit, when he began vomiting.

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27 Comments
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Seems hard to believe he'd get alcohol poisoning in 3 hours drinking just beer and umeshu. Something more to this I think.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japanese kids tend not to drink in their early teens so its not hard to see that this poor kid probably had little or no knowledge of the effects of alcohol. Such a shame he lost his life to it. Should be more awareness campaigns for the young teen drinkers about to start out in life.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Tsukuba is usually pretty strict about underage drinking and the clubs are supposed to see to it that older students do not ply the younger ones with booze.

What a waste of a young life.

InControl, many Asians lack some enzyme or other that prevents alcohol being broken down in the body; instead of getting pleasantly tipsy, they get acute alcohol poisoning. The beer alone would do it, but some brands of umeshu can be quite strong.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Not hard to believe at all. Japanese sports club drinking parties are brutal, especially when the sempai force their kohai to drink more.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

beer and umeshu, a Japanese spirit

Umeshu is a Chinese liquor! Anyway, if it was home made umeshu it can be extremely strong.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Not sure why anyone would be surprised at this. As mentioned, huge drinking culture for the sport's teams here - and often encouraged by the smepais. Underage drinking is a massive issue and very little is being done to address it.

RIP. A waste.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

He drank about 6 or 7 glasses of beer. He shouldn't be drinking in the first place.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I once worked a season picking grapes in France and stayed with a French farmer family. The drank every day, even a glass of cognac in the morning. The kids drank watered wine with their meals. But during a party, no one got violently drunk, or sick, because they had learned how to drink in moderation.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

There are some differences in the liver of Japanese (and Native Americans as well... maybe more). Some will get sick off of one drink, some can have a few, others can drink like Westerners... it is genetic. Sad he didn't know his limit.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This happened in Otaru. The football team was disbanded, and an unrelated uni had to go dry for their regular summer festival. Stop drinking before you start feeling sick, kids.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Could be he lacked the enzyme, could be he had it but just drank too much, incontrol. 3 hours is more than enough time if on an empty stomach, as is usual, and not used to alcohol, as an 18 yr older would be, and if there is pressure from sports sempai shouting and back-slapping.

Too bad, yes Europe has responsible normal family drinking at home, and getting really drunk is gnrly seen as very gauche.

Poor kid. Stay away from peer pressure, I was always taught. But here, it is "go with peer pressure no matter what your best instincts or true heart says". rip.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I can hear the chants of 'Ikki, ikki' now as the poor kid(s) were encouraged (forced?) to down chuhai and cheap beer. Terrible waste of a life.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Seems hard to believe he'd get alcohol poisoning in 3 hours drinking just beer and umeshu.

No. Particularly umeshu, as it's made with the fruit stones, that's toxic to some point. He seems to have done an allergic shock more than a "classic" over-drinking that gets you into a coma....well not you, I hope. That's why they talk about "poisoning" and say they are waiting for results of post-mortem. If that's the case, you can get that from the first sip. I don't say he was right to drink that mix anyway. but he had bad luck too. Maybe the biggest problem was his buddies were tipsy or afraid of the law, and they may have waited too long to call the ER.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cleo is correct about some Asians not being able to metabolize alcohol. It is known as the Asian Flush in the medical circles in America. It is estimated that 50% of Asians can not tolerate alcohol even in small quantities. Unfortunately, alcohol effects take time before they show up and if someone can not handle it, often they have had too much before the first effects of the alcohol begin to show and they drink more thus overloading their system. The vomiting is a sign of alcohol poisoning and if they would have known they should have gotten him to a hospital right away where they could have pumped fluids into him to dilute it until it was out of his system.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

3 hour drinking took the teenager's life... this can't be regrettable.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Many Japanese people do not touch sake or beer entire their life at all. Isn't that why Japanese have older people living than other countries?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The only surprising thing about this news is that it is news and we read about it. Death resulting from alcohol overdoses is far too common among university students. The difference between the quantity of alcohol required to to get you drunk and the LD50 dose (What is estimated would kill 50% of the imbibers) is not that great, perhaps only two or three times. Of course, this varies from person to person, but Asians tend to be smaller and lighter than Westerners, so require less to get high or die.

The Japanese belief is that illegal drugs are dangerous, which is why they are illegal. They also more dangerously believe that only illegal drugs are dangerous. Any drugs that are legal, such as those obtained on a doctor's prescription are believed to be safe, which is not necessarily true, and not addictive, which is also not true. The we come to their belief about alcohol: as it is legally sold (although not to under 20s) without a prescription, it is not a drug and not addictive.

In fact, alcohol is a drug, it is addictive and it is responsible for more deaths than any other drug. This has been reported by the WHO. It is time to consider it for what it is. I do not propose it should be banned. I propose it shoudl be understand and facts should be taught based on evidence, not prejudice.

http://recoveringaddict.hubpages.com/hub/Drinking-Games-How-Many-Shots-Would-it-Take-to-Kill-You-Find-Out-Here I don't vouch for the accuracy of this page, but it is probably not too far off the mark.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Too much of anything can kill you. Alcohol poisoning at college frat parties are one of the cause because people don't know how to say, "enough" trying to appeal to their peers. Now we have an underage drinker in Japan trying to be "cool". Drinking culture in many countries is usually quite bad. Drink to get social, not to get drunk. But for some people that don't like living healthy, getting drunk is fun for them. I just don't understand it myself :(

0 ( +0 / -0 )

toshiko-

no, it is more likely to do with overall diet. especially the lots of vegetables part, and, at least until recently, much less processed foods, and greasy fast foods.

liquor like other fermented goods (natto, yoghurt, kim chee, etc.) has all sorts of good things in it for you. if it is not consumed in moderation, it can be bad for you, of course. But everyone who drinks in foreign countries is not a drunk, also there are plenty of drunks in jpn, so I don't think it affects the longevity numbers.

this poor kid certainly did not consume in moderation, and look where it got him.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Rest in Peace, kid. Horrible way to learn a life lesson. As other posters have rightly said, many Asians, Australian Aboriginals and Native Americans sadly can't process alcohol, and should steer well clear of the demon drink.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many Japanese people do not touch sake or beer entire their life at all. Isn't that why Japanese have older people living than other countries?

If this is so then how do you explain all the "old" folks down here in Okinawa that have their daily shot of Awamori? And there are more of them per capita here then anywhere in the world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Teenage alcohol consumption is a problem in most areas that have alcohol available. The reason why most states in the United States changed the drinking age from 18 to 21 is because of incidents like this. I remember in college we used to take a couple of students to hospital every time there was a big party on campus. If you drink the alcohol fast enough (binge drinking) , by the time your body reacts to the level of alcohol, you drank too much. Alcohol is a depressant and will stop you from breathing. Drink too much too fast, pass out, the alcohol is still entering the body via the stomach, the drinking stops breathing and dies. It is that simple. It has nothing to do with if you can "hold your drink". Teenagers are idiots. Wonder if any of the other swim team members will be charged with murder; providing an illegal drug ( alcohol is illegal for those under age) that lead to death of the victim.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not sure that he learned a life lesson. Afterlife lesson maybe. Pity that he overdid things - or some bad reaction. Nevertheless this type of alcohol fuelled binge are a part of frat boy growing up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The thing about Asians not being able to metabolize alcohol is nonsense. In fact, they metabolize it more efficiently than most non-Asians. Look up "Alcohol Flush Reaction" in Wikipedia, then "Causes"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The reason why most states in the United States changed the drinking age from 18 to 21 is because of incidents like this.

No it wasn't because of this, it was because of the slaughter on the highways from kids drinking and driving was the number one reason.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My theory is that he could have easily choked to death as he was so intoxicated...if he was on his back and his ability to regurgitate it back up could have been impaired by his lack of consciousness.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Lowly: Thank you for clearing my question. ,This boy seems to have drunk more than his body could handle. I don;t know there are cases like this in USA.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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