Enjoying time with Family and friends, grilling with the neighbors, relaxing by the pool and fireworks are all part of the 4th of July holiday weekend.
Often, alcohol is a part of the holidays, and, when used responsibly, can add to its relaxed atmosphere. However, sometimes the party is over before it starts when people use any occasion as an excuse to overindulge, endangering themselves and others around them.
Binge drinking, defined as five or more drinks on a single occasion for men or four or more drinks on a single occasion for women, generally within about two hours, is a dangerous pattern of alcohol consumption. It is most common in men in the 18 – 34 age range. Most people who binge drink are not alcohol-dependent or alcoholics. However, binge drinking is associated with many problems including: motor vehicle crashes; drowning; interpersonal violence; unintended pregnancy; high blood pressure, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases; sexual dysfunction; and poor control of diabetes.
In addition to the problems mentioned above, youth who binge drink may experience: sexual assaults; school, social, and legal problems; memory and learning problems; changes in brain development; and increased risk of alcohol problems.
Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics, and can contribute to dehydration and heat exhaustion. Drinking alcohol in the heat also can impact judgment. The more alcohol you consume, the harder it is to recognize whether you might have a heat-related illness. The combination of alcohol and heat poses especially serious health risks for older adults and individuals with medical conditions. Instead of consuming these beverages, keep hydrated with adequate amounts of water.
Don’t spend the weekend in the emergency room or in jail. Never let a teen drink, and never drive impaired. Celebrate the holiday by keeping your Family healthy and safe.