© 2023 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Up To Date

From Drinking Binge To Blackout


You may remember the story of Jason Wren, a 19-year-old University of Kansas student who went on a drinking binge and died in a KU frat house in 2009.

Since then, KU students have taken part in the Jason Wren Initiative, a week every year at KU to remind students about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse.

This year Toren Volkman will visit with students to tell his story of being a young alcoholic who, nearly drank himself to death in college.

In his book, Binge to Blackout, co-written by his mother, Chris Volkman, Toren writes:

Alcohol was my best friend, and I didn't want to stop drinking. I didn't quit drinking for my parents. I didn't quit drinking for my friends. I quit drinking because alcohol stopped working for me. I quit drinking because all the benefits that I saw in drinking slowly turned my life upside down. My life became a disaster, solely fueled by alcohol.

Thursday on Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Toren Volkman about his story, and what he's learned about teenage and college alcohol consumption, and its affect on young people.

Stephen Steigman is director of Classical KC and chief of broadcast operations for KCUR 89.3 and 91.9 Classical KC. You can email him at stephen@kcur.org.
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.