Binge Drinking and the Holidays
Rum Slush, Champagne Toasts, and More
According to CDC reports, more than one-fourth of the nation's adults have engaged in binge drinking. Binge drinking is having five drinks or more for men within two hours. Men tend to engage in binge drinking more than women. For women, binge drinking is having four or more drinks within two hours. Adults between ages 18 and 34 tend to be the greatest percentage of binge drinkers.
Holiday parties tempt even non-drinkers to indulge in interesting, festive, even attractive-looking alcoholic drinks. Others merely have excess beer or wine at hand. Either way, some individuals see a holiday party as a time to let go and binge drink.
For people who do not often drink, their low tolerance for alcohol could cause multiple problems. Impairment from too much alcohol could leave an individual vulnerable to become a victim of sexual assault, sexually transmitted diseases, or an unintentional pregnancy. Alcohol abuse can lead to violent or embarrassing behavior.
An evening of celebration can end sadly if binge drinking results in the severe injury or even death of someone. Alcohol poisoning and motor vehicle accidents are the tragic endings for some who lose control of their alcohol intake and lose the ability to make safe decisions. Even mild alcohol abuse may slow reflexes just enough to prevent a person from putting on the break fast enough before they hit someone.
And to All a Safe Night
For those attending parties, they should know their limits and set limits before they begin drinking alcohol. "There is safety in numbers" is a wise saying for those attending parties where alcohol will be served; friends can help monitor the number of drinks a person has had and can offer safe rides home.
Those offering parties that serve alcohol should also offer plenty of food and water to help off-set some of the alcohol's effects.
With awareness, control, and a plan before attending a party, guests and hosts can have a celebratory evening without endangering the health of others and at the end of an evening can finish with a toast to good health and a happy and safe New Year.