After writing about underage binge drinking last week, it is only appropriate that the Fourth of July holiday would be the topic of the next blog. As I search for information on drinking rates during the fourth of july a plethora of information comes up. However, this information includes what the best alcoholic drinks are for the holiday with little content about the rates of drinking during this celebratory day. While drinking alcohol can be an enjoyable social activity, many people choose to binge drink on holidays with some of the highest rates on the Fourth of July. The small amount of information I did find on the rates of drinking during this holiday was centered around drinking and driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over half of the crashes on the Fourth are related to alcohol. The holiday weekend has also been considered the “deadliest holiday of the year.” In addition, SAMSHA recently conducted a study which suggested that “drunk” underage boys visit the emergency room on the weekend of the fourth at two times the rate of other days during the year. While some of these visits may have to do with injuries related to fireworks, the study proposes that these injuries are related to alcohol use.
So, while we enjoy our cocktails and cookouts this weekend, remember the negative effects of extreme alcohol consumption. Don’t drink and drive, find a designated driver, and stay away from fireworks if you have been drinking. Also, be aware of potential drinking problems that are associated with binge drinking. Alcoholism is not limited to people who drink beer all day or to those who spend each evening in a bar. Even those of us who drink periodically can have a problem. If consumption of alcohol often leads to “black-outs” or you have a difficult time knowing when to stop drinking, you may have a problem.
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Have a great holiday everyone!!! And be safe.