Southwest Counseling: what are your risks for drinking this Holiday Season?

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The Holidays are meant to be a time of the year where we get a chance to enjoy our families and friends as well as spend some well-deserved time away from the stressors of our lives. However, the holidays also tend to be a very dangerous time of year for alcohol related injuries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that, excessive alcohol use is responsible for approximately 95,000 deaths in the United States each year and $249 billion in economic costs in 2010. Excessive alcohol use includes:

  • Binge drinking (defined as consuming 4 or more alcoholic beverages per occasion for women or 5 or more drinks per occasion for men).
  • Heavy drinking (defined as consuming 8 or more alcoholic beverages per week for women or 15 or more alcoholic beverages per week for men).
  • Any drinking by pregnant women or those younger than age 21.

During the October, November, and December Holidays, Alcohol related car injuries and accidents sky rocket. One of the most dangerous Holiday’s for alcohol intake has been documented as “Blackout Wednesday”. Blackout Wednesday falls on the day before Thanksgiving. What makes this day so dangerous is contributed to the heavy travel being done for Thanksgiving weekend. In rural areas such as Wyoming. This “Holiday” is increasingly dangerous as many people have to travel farther distances to join family and friends for celebrations. While longer travel distances may increase the odds of an event happening, instances still occur even if they may only be a few blocks from home. Please take appropriate precautions this holiday season by using the suggestions listed below and ensure safe holidays for you and those you care about.

How Can I Contribute to the Prevention of Excessive Alcohol Use?

  • Choose not to drink too much yourself and help others not do it.
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, follow the U.S. Dietary Guidelines on moderate alcohol consumption (no more than one drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men).
  • Do not serve or provide alcohol to those who should not be drinking, including people under the age of 21 or those who have already drank too much.
  • Plan ahead, share a ride, designate a driver or call a cab to ensure your community’s safety, as well as your own.
  • Enforce existing laws and regulations about alcohol sales and service.

At Southwest Counseling Service the Prevention team can help answer other questions you may have regarding safe alcohol consumption. You can call our offices at 307-352-6677 and request to speak with Delaney or Shelby for Community Prevention.


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