Drinking Alcohol and the 4th of July can be a Dangerous Combination

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The 4th of July weekend is the deadliest holiday of the year due to alcohol-related traffic accidents. Gateway Treatment Centers provides tips to help you have a safe holiday weekend.

drinking alcohol, 4th of July
As a special note of caution to parents, the number of underage people visiting hospital emergency departments nearly doubles over the 4th of July weekend due to drinking alcohol.

The 4th of July is a particularly special holiday, as Americans celebrate our country’s independence from Great Britain. Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers would like to remind everyone that drinking too much alcohol and getting behind the controls of a car, motorcycle or boat can cause loss of personal freedoms…or worse.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 4th of July weekend is the deadliest holiday of the year due to alcohol-related traffic accidents. In the past 25 years, 51 percent of all deadly crashes over the 4th of July weekend have been alcohol-related.

But roadways do not present the only peril – waterways warrant similar precautionary measures. Keep in mind that, in a boat, it’s not just the alcohol consumption of the driver that raises concern; passengers who are drinking alcohol are more susceptible to injury or death from slipping or falling overboard and drowning.

As a special note of caution to parents, the number of underage people visiting hospital emergency departments nearly doubles over the 4th of July weekend due to drinking alcohol. Dr. John Larson, Corporate Medical Director of Gateway, understands the dangers of underage consumption of alcohol. “The adolescent brain is not yet fully developed and drinking alcohol damages the brain’s executive function in kids. Parents who want their children to grow up to realize their full potential should not condone drinking,” Dr. Larson explained.

The 4th of July holiday weekend is also a good time to remind ourselves of the USDA guidelines for the safe consumption of alcohol. USDA recommendations include men should consume no more than two drinks a day and women no more than one drink per day. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of regular beer (five percent alcohol), five ounces of wine (12 percent alcohol) and 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits, which are 40 percent alcohol by volume.

As you prepare to celebrate our country’s independence, be sure to plan your alcohol strategy. Here are some tips to help you have a safe holiday weekend:

  •     Be aware of your tolerance for alcohol consumption and decide ahead of time to stick to it.
  •     At any gathering, make sure there is a designated driver for guests who will be drinking.
  •     If you find yourself impaired by too much alcohol consumption, call a taxi, a sober friend or take public transportation to get home safely.

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers wishes you a safe and happy 4th of July!

About Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers provide substance abuse treatment services for teens and adults at drug treatment centers throughout Illinois and the St. Louis Metro East area. Gateway's outpatient and inpatient treatment centers are licensed by the state of Illinois and accredited by The Joint Commission. Each year, Gateway's professional clinicians help thousands of individual's successfully complete treatment.

Learn more about Gateway's free, confidential consultation, or call (800) 971-4673.

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Kymberly Vasey
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