The holiday season is upon us. Before you know it, college kids will be coming home and gathering around the Thanksgiving dinner table, but where are they the night before?
Many young adults choose to spend Thanksgiving eve catching up with old friends at the local bars. In fact, it has become one of the biggest drinking days of the year; some refer to it as Black Wednesday, Blackout Wednesday and Drinksgiving. As a result, Thanksgiving is one of the deadliest holidays to be on the road. According to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD), between 2012 and 2016, more than 800 people were killed by drunk drivers during the Thanksgiving long weekend (Wednesday evening to early Monday morning).
Even if a person is responsible enough to avoid driving while under the influence, it doesn’t mean they are out of harm’s way. Many young people binge drink, especially during the holidays. Binge drinking is defined as consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. A binge is typically four drinks for a woman and five drinks for a man within two hours. The difference is due to the fact that men are typically larger than women, so their bodies metabolize the alcohol differently.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports binge drinking is most common among people ages 18 to 34, however, those under 21 who reported binge drinking drank larger quantities during the binge. The large quantities of alcohol put a person at risk for alcohol poisoning, which can be deadly if not treated promptly. The high levels of alcohol in the body can cause a person to stop breathing and shut down their gag reflex, which can cause a person to choke if they vomit. If you notice a person has slow or irregular breathing, acts confused or cannot be roused, call 911 and get them to the emergency room immediately.
Dangers of Binge Drinking
Besides alcohol poisoning, there are other dangers associated with binge drinking that you might not think of. Here is a list compiled by the CDC:
We don’t want to put a damper on your holiday festivities, but we want everyone to be safe. As MADD and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says, “Make It to the Table: Don’t Drink and Drive this Thanksgiving Eve!”