A lot of our recent posts have been about alcohol consumption and the holidays, and for good reason.  According to the United States Department of Transportation, from 2001 to 2005, an average of 45 people died each day during the holiday season.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that drinking and driving spike during the holiday season, with alcohol being blamed for about 52 percent of fatal collisions on Christmas and 57 percent on New Year’s. The average yearly rate is 41 percent. In addition, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 25,000 people will be injured as well.

What should you do?

First, always have a designated driver.  Second, if you see friends drinking, don’t let them drive!   Yes, they might be mad at you, but it’s better to have them mad then to not have them at all.  This is also true if you have been drinking.  Call a cab or a friend.  In fact, we heard on the radio today that a Utah law firm will reimburse you up to $35 if you call a cab, instead of driving drunk.  We think it’s a small price to pay.

Third, avoid driving in the early morning or late evening during the holidays.  Yes, this one’s a stretch, but that’s when fatalities are typically the highest.  Finally, if you do see someone driving erratically, report them to the police immediately.

We hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday season, and we wish all of you a happy New Year.  Please drink responsibly, and we’ll see you next year!

It’s pretty common for many people to drink more heavily during the holiday season.  In our previous post, we discussed holiday-related depression for people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. With this post, we want to discuss the risks associated with heavy drinking.  Our goal is to encourage people to drink responsibly, and not abuse alcohol or substances this holiday season.

According to the Center for Disease Control, heavy drinking (drinking more than two drinks per day on average for men or more than one drink per day on average for women), or binge drinking (drinking five or more drinks during a single occasion for men or four or more drinks during a single occasion for women), can lead to increased risk of health problems such as liver disease or unintentional injuries.

In addition, a recent Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey has shown that more than half of U.S. adults drank alcohol in the past 30 days. The survey also shows that approximately 5 percent of the total population drank heavily, and 15 percent of the population had participated in binge drinking.

Finally, the most startling statistic is that from 2001 to 2005, there were approximately 79,000 deaths in the U.S. each year due to excessive alcohol use. This was the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death of U.S. adults.

Our goal with this post was not to scare people, but to encourage people to drink responsibly, and in moderation this holiday season. We at Turning Point Centers, a Utah alcohol program, also want to promote the use of designated drivers, and to wish everyone happy holidays and a happy New Year.

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