How Could This Happen? A True Story about Binge Drinking and Death
Running Time: 18 Minutes
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This program gives students a close up look at the story of Molly Amman, a vivacious nineteen-year-old, straight-A student who died of acute alcohol poisoning in 2011. Through emotional interviews with family and friends, viewers get a firsthand understanding of how one episode of binge drinking can kill. The choices and errors in judgment that lead to Molly’s death are presented in stark detail. Medical experts weigh in about the consequences of binge drinking and how the body systematically shuts down when too much alcohol is consumed. Students are made aware of the all-too-real dangers of alcohol poisoning and learn what actions to take if they suspect that someone is at risk of being poisoned.
Research-Based video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post test in digital format
The pain of Molly Amman’s friends and family is palpable in this powerful video, which personalizes the consequences of binge drinking. Nineteen-year-old Molly Amman died of acute alcohol poisoning in 2011. Her well-meaning friends, ignorant of the potential dangers, put Molly to bed after a night of drinking. As a doctor explains, the high level of alcohol in the teen’s body repressed respiratory function and built up carbon-dioxide levels to the point that body systems shut down. Interviews with hospital staff and counselors add credence to the dangers of heavy alcohol consumption by teenagers, whose bodies are more adversely affected by volume and rate of consumption than those of adults. Reenactments of events of the evening combine with emotional comments from Molly’s mother, sister, and friends to increase the impact of Molly’s story. Includes a teachers’ resource book, student handouts, and pre- and post-tests in digital format.
— Edie Ching
This program tells the story of the alcohol induced death of Molly Ammon, but the lessons learned by her friends and family are universal ones that could save lives. Through testimony from family and friends, some of whom were with the young woman the night she died, as well as information from experts including recovery counselor Rachel Light, LMSW, and Steven Wexler, Chairman of Emergency Medicine, Day Kimball Hospital, Putnam CT, viewers are exposed to the unpredictability and dangers of binge drinking. Reenactments of the night during which Molly played drinking games and the attempts to revive her are enhanced by 3-D models demonstrating the internal effects of alcohol toxicity on the body. The teacher's guide includes learning objectives, a program summary, National Health Education Performance Indicators for grades 6–8 and 9–12, a pre- and post-test with answer sheet, fact sheets, and Internet resources. Student activities include consideration of many alcohol-related scenarios that teens encounter. Molly's death by alcohol toxicity was a tough reality check for her family and friends. Perhaps the story will open viewers' eyes to the dangers of binge drinking and alcohol poisoning.
—Ann Weber, Bellarmine College Prep., San Jose, CA
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