Let’s Drink to the Holiday Season…Or Not!

drink-driving-808801_1280Beware of “Thanksgiving Eve” or “Black Out Eve”

It’s common knowledge that alcohol and drug abuse can spike during the stressful holiday season.  But, according to an Alcohol Monitoring Systems report published in 2014, binge drinking and drunk driving increase astronomically during the holidays.  So much so that, in some urban cities, Thanksgiving Eve has been labeled “Blackout Wednesday.” That day puts young people at particular risk. Bartenders from across the country report they see more business on the day before Thanksgiving than on St. Patrick’s Day or New Years Day combined.

It’s Not WHAT You Drink but HOW much

According to a report by Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies, some drinkers are under the impression they can drink more wine and beer because the alcohol content is not as strong as hard liquor. It is not WHAT you drink, but HOW much you drink. The alcohol content in 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or a shot of hard liquor, all contain the same amount of alcohol that an average-sized person can process in one hour.

Did You Know?

Women become intoxicated much quicker than men. Why?  Because women have less water in their body than men, therefore, they process alcohol much slower. In addition, women have less liver enzymes than men, again, slowing the process of alcohol in their system. So, if women are trying to keep up with men during a night of drinking, odds are the women are going to become intoxicated much quicker than most men. A good rule of thumb: one glass of water after a glass of alcohol AND don’t try to keep up with men while out drinking.  

Teens/College Students and Alcohol

For teens and college students, they face the additional stress that comes with the close of the semester. They may turn to alcohol as a way to celebrate and decompress. By being aware of this added stressor, encourage your teen or college-aged child that is home for the holidays to channel their holiday vacation by becoming active in community projects during this time or by participating in physical activities to help burn off excess energy or conversely boredom. Or, start a new family tradition! Instead of “Thanksgiving Eve” participate in a Turkey Trot or serve meals to the homeless on Thanksgiving morning. Giving back can mean not giving in during the holidays.

Old Adages Hold True

Friends don’t let friends drive drunk may be a time worn adage, but it is never the less appropriate for the season. So whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving Eve at your favorite pub, El Chorro or The Montelucia, have a designated driver for your group or set-up alternate transportation such as Uber or Lyft to ferry you and your friends to and from your destination.

According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 700 people are injured or killed each year between Thanksgiving and New Years Day in drunk driving accidents. That number is two to three times the rate normally seen throughout the year. Don’t let this holiday season ruin you or a loved ones life.

“Don’t drink and drive. The life you save may be your own.”

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