Tragedy Leads Couple to Teach Teens about Alcohol Poisoning

Teen wellbeing is at risk to excessive alcohol consumption. This is according to Tony and Lori Bobbitt of Greencastle, Pennsylvania, who are spreading the message that drinking can kill in the hopes of sparing are parents from going through the nightmare they have. Their 19-year-old son William Kiel Bobbitt, died from alcohol poisoning in May 2008, so the Bobbitts know just how devastating teenage bingeing can be to family wellness.

The police reports show that Kiel was drinking dark rum with friends the night before he arrived home drunk at 1 am. His housemates found him the next morning at 8.30 am, and he was unresponsive. Tony Bobbitt explained, ‘We don’t really drink alcohol so it was not an environment that Kiel was accustomed to. Like all young men we knew he had probably tried beer with his friends in Greencastle, but nothing stronger.’

According to Lori Bobbitt, ‘Our message is not that we want everyone to stop drinking, but we want young people to understand the dangers of excessive drinking,’ and to be able to recognise the wellness signs of alcohol poisoning. ‘Allowing someone to “sleep it off’ is not the solution,’ she said. ‘In this case of Kiel, it caused the tragic end to which he came.’ The Bobbitts have been speaking to teens about the dangers of alcohol poisoning as they have found many young people aren’t aware of the symptoms.

The Bobbitts have now spoken at various schools and colleges across the Tri-State area, including Greencastle Antrim High School, Shippensburg University, Mount St. Mary’s University, California University of Pennsylvania and various youth groups. Lori noted, ‘When we are invited to speak to students across the region, I always start by telling them what a fun-loving young man Kiel was. He was the life and soul of the party without drinking alcohol. I don’t want people to remember him only because of the way he died.’ She added that the Bobbitts stress how choosing the right friends is crucial. ‘For Kiel, it could have even the difference between being here today to tell this story himself,’ Lori said.

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