Two Ways Drinking Alcohol Can Have Long Term Effects

drinking alcohol long term effectsDrinking alcohol is something people do every single day, and because it’s acceptable and legal to consume alcohol as long as you’re not driving and your of legal drinking age, it’s often thought of as no big deal.

But drinking alcohol can create serious long-term consequences you might not have thought of. Some can happen after drinking alcohol once, while others can be the result of long term alcohol use.

You could be stopped for drunk driving

One night of drinking alcohol can result in you getting behind the wheel of a car, and if you do that, you have the potential to injure or kill yourself and others in a crash. If you manage to live to get arrested for drunk driving, you’ve got a long road ahead of you.

If you’re arrested after a crash that kills someone you’re going to spend time behind bars, and if you’re arrested for drunk driving without a crash, you’ll still lose your driver’s license, pay fines, and depending on your state, have to install an ignition interlock in your vehicle. It can take a year or longer to resolve a drunk driving case, and although some penalties are immediate, others will take awhile to work though.

If you’re a young adult, drinking alcohol can have long term effects on your health

A new study revealed something that young adults probably aren’t considering: even if you quit drinking alcohol at a young age, it can still have long term health effects. The researchers called these effects “silent but permanent” injuries and could mean that alcohol will cause problems with health as the young people reach their 60s and older.

Whether it’s binge drinking on the weekends or just a steady stream of casual beverages after work during the week, drinking alcohol isn’t something to take lightly. If you’re going to drink, know the risks, and make smart decisions about drinking alcohol.

Teen Binge Drinking At Historic Low

teen binge drinkingTeen binge drinking has been a real problem in the United States for decades. It’s not just scary because developing teens shouldn’t be drinking alcohol in the first place; it’s dangerous because those teens could end up dead due to alcohol poisoning or drinking and driving.

That’s why it’s encouraging to read the latest results from the 2015 National Youth Risk Behaviour Survey (YRBS). Released every two years by the Centers for Disease Control, it details the binge drinking and underage drinking rates for secondary students.

The YRBS surveyed 150,000 high school students in the United States, and they were very happy with the results. According to the survey, secondary students in the past ten years have become a lot smarter about binge drinking. The data showed a consistent decline at a statistically significant rate for the past decade.

Times have definitely changed for teens. It used to be perceived as cool to binge drink, and you’d see teens on television, movies, and media drinking to excess and having a great time. That message has changed though, and underage drinking isn’t cool anymore. Now you’ll see public service announcements to stop underage drinking, stiff fines for parents who “boot” for their kids and host underage drinking parties, and an overall theme of avoidance until teens turn 21.

The message has changed with good reason. Research has shown that drinking alcohol at a young age can increase the likelihood that the teen will abuse alcohol as he or she ages. Binge drinking can lead to drinking and driving too, and traffic crashes are the leading cause of teen death overall.

Even if you have a permissive attitude toward underage drinking, no one wants to see a teen abuse alcohol or have them make a bad decision and get behind the wheel drunk. The latest data is encouraging because it shows a steady decline in teen binge drinking, and hopefully that downward trend will continue.

What Is A Hardcore Drunk Driver?

hardcore drunk driverWhat do you think of when you hear the term hardcore drunk driver? Different people would probably have different definitions. They might think it’s someone who binge drinks and habitually gets behind the wheel, or a person who just has a really cavalier attitude about drinking and driving.

It may seem like hardcore drunk driver is another casual term to describe someone who drinks and drives, but it’s actually a definition used by lawmakers, lawyers, and law enforcement. Hardcore drunk drivers, also known as hard core drinking drivers, are those offenders who are convicted with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.15 percent or are a repeat offender who was charged with two or more drunk driving convictions over the past ten years.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, hardcore drunk drivers are usually male between the ages of 25-45. They’re also chronic offenders who drink and drive more often than they’re caught. The NHTSA estimates that these offenders are only stopped once every 88 times they drink and drive.

Hardcore drunk drivers are also most associated with fatal alcohol-related crashes. These drivers are actually involved in more than 70% of alcohol-related crashes on the road, and that’s why it’s vital that police have a strong presence on the roads at all times and continually set up checkpoints.

Lawmakers should also focus on all offender ignition interlock laws, because although a hardcore offender could decide it’s no big deal to drive with a suspended driver’s license, they won’t be able to get the car out of the driveway if they have an ignition interlock installed.

Every state deals with its hardcore drunk drivers in different ways, but if all states got got on the same page and really cracked down on these offenders, they could make a real dent in the US’s drunk driving problem.

This Video Is An Underage Drinking Eye Opener

teen underage drinking Even a parent who is completely on top of everything their teen does has something slip past them once in awhile. Maybe your teen stayed out too late but you were asleep on the couch when they came home. That would be considered small potatoes when compared to letting underage drinking pass by unnoticed, but it does happen. Unfortunately there are parents not only notice underage drinking, they support it.

There are a lot of parents who decide to host underage drinking parties for their kids, or, even worse, go out for the night and tell their kids that they can drink as long as they do it at home. It’s a course of action that they really believe is the safest option, but the reality is that when it comes to teen drinking, there are no safe options.

‘Inside the Party’ is a video on Youtube that’s the perfect example of what can happen if your teen drinks at home. It focuses on an at-home teen drinking party that gets out of hand with alcohol, drugs, and prescription medication. Take a look at the video below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_1Ageddz7I]

This video might be an extreme look at what can happen at a teen party, but when you serve alcohol to teens, anything goes.

What can you do to prevent your teen from underage drinking or participating in a party like the one shown in the video? To start, you could say no to social hosting and alcohol-related parties for your teens at home. Not only will saying no save you from taking responsibility for drunk teenagers and the potential of teen drinking and driving, you could also avoid a stiff fine. Some cities in the United States recommend a $500 fine for a first Social Host offense, and if you continue to host, you’ll pay up to $5,000.

Teens grow quickly, and before you know it your child will be 21 and legally able to drink. Don’t start them off on the wrong foot by giving them alcohol or letting them drink at home. You can avoid a lot of headache and possibly save a teen’s life by standing up and saying no to underage drinking.

 

Florida Drunk Driver Drives On With Lethal Blood Alcohol Levels

florida drunk driver lethal blood alcoholNot every Florida drunk driver makes the news, but once in awhile there’s a case that’s publicized because it’s shocking, and by sharing it with the public, may just stop someone from making the same crazy decision to drink and drive.

It was definitely a crazy decision that got Stephen K. Allbritton’s name and photo splashed across news outlets on the Internet. It wasn’t just that he decided to binge drink and then drive his vehicle in Estero, Florida. It wasn’t just that he decided to do so with his two teenagers in the passenger seats of the vehicle. No, what was truly crazy was how much he drank before making the decision to drive his vehicle.

Allbritton was found passed out cold behind the wheel of his truck in the center turn lane of a road. When police arrived on the scene they tried to speak to him but he was unresponsive except for some mumbling. They called an ambulance to transport him, and when he arrived at the hospital he was given a blood test. That blood test indicated that Allbritton had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.495. Five hours later they drew his blood again, and he was 0.333.

Let’s put that BAC into perspective. If someone had a bunch of drinks, blew into a breathalyzer, and received a BAC reading of .20, he or she would be considered extremely intoxicated. Odds are they would already be passing out at that stage.

If that person reaches 0.35 or 0.40, it’s very likely they are about to die from fatal alcohol poisoning. They would have slow or irregular breathing, would be very difficult to wake up and stay awake, and have a weak pulse. He or she would also have pale or bluish skin and may be vomiting after they pass out.

Those are symptoms anyone with that BAC would have, but this man was actually driving with that much alcohol in his system. It’s no wonder he was unresponsive and passed out at the wheel, and what’s even more surprising is that when the police read him his rights at the hospital, he denied drinking at all.

Fortunately police had the blood tests to back them up, and he was charged with drunk driving and felony child neglect. He also refused to take a breathalyzer test at the hospital so he was charged for that refusal. He’s still in jail while his case is pending.

You can take two things away from this Florida drunk driver. One, if you drink and drive and are arrested for it, there’s a chance that you too will end up on the news. And two, binge drinking and driving is a good way to end up dead. Alcohol poisoning could be the cause or you’ll end up in a crash that will kill you or someone else.

Either of those scenarios can’t seem appealing, so think before you drink. You don’t want to end up in the same situation as this Florida drunk driver.

Still Drunk The Next Morning? Don’t Drive

still drunk the next morningWhen you go out for the night and drink, you probably give some thought to what will happen the next day. Maybe you have to work and you keep that in mind while you’re drinking. Or, you just want to make sure you get to bed early enough to sleep it off, thinking you won’t feel as horrible the next day if you do.

Sleeping it off is OK, as long as you don’t plan on sleeping and getting up to drive. A lot of people have done this and, much to their shock, they discover they’re still drunk the next morning. That’s because they didn’t allow their body enough time to process the alcohol.

Just to give you a rough idea, the average person takes approximately two hours to process one drink. That rule holds true whether you’re drinking hard alcohol, beer, or wine. It also takes the same amount of time to process that drink even if you eat a big meal to ‘soak up’ the alcohol or have a cold shower to ‘sober up.’

Imagine if you go out for dinner at 7pm and have 2 glasses of wine. You head over to the pub with friends and have 3 bottles of beer and one tequila shot, and your last drink was at one am. Your body would have started to metabolize the alcohol at dinner, but it would be 12 hours later by the time all of the alcohol leaves your system.

Even if you’ve metabolized a large portion of the alcohol by 8 am, you could still be register over .08 when you get behind the wheel to go to work or home. And if you’re stopped while driving drunk, even if you didn’t intend to, you’ll receive the same jail time, fines, and ignition interlock program as anyone who made the decision to get behind the wheel drunk.

If you plan on going out for the evening, do these two things: choose a designated driver or call a ride share company to get you home, and plan on what you’ll be doing if you’re still drunk the next morning. You need to give your body time to work its way through all of the alcohol you drank, so if your plans involve driving, you might want to find another way to get to where you’d like to go.

It’s Not Easy, But You Need To Talk To Your Teen About Drinking And Driving

talk-teen-drinking-drivingIt’s never easy talk to your teen about drinking and driving, but with summer here, it’s never been more necessary. Because the summer months involve no school, a loose schedule, and a lot of hanging out with friends, your teen may be open to the idea of underage drinking. If they are open to the idea of under age drinking, they could end up making the choice to drink and drive.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), car crashes are the leading cause of teen death, and one quarter of those crashes involve an underage drinking driver. You might not be worried that your child will be the one doing the driving, but when it comes to keeping your teen safe, you should prepare for any possibility.

Here are a few ways you can talk to your teen about drinking and driving.

Make your feelings about drinking and driving known

Experts say that you should let your teen know how you feel about underage drinking and underage drinking and driving, but when you do, don’t come across as lecturing. You could share the statistics on teen crashes in a matter of fact way, and let them know you’re concerned something could happen to them if they make the wrong decision.

Let them know you’d notice if they’ve been drinking

Some teens think they can slip past their parents and they won’t notice that they’ve had a few to drink, so letting them know that you’d definitely notice is a good idea. That way they’ll think about the consequences before they drink.

Help them avoid peer pressure

Peer pressure is a big deal when you’re a teen, and sometimes your child could feel coerced into drinking or getting into a car with someone they know has been drinking. If you come up with strategies to avoid situations where there may be alcohol, you won’t have to worry that he or she will make the wrong choice when pressured by friends.

Talking about underage drinking and teen drinking and driving isn’t an easy conversation, but to keep your teen safe, it’s one you should consider having as soon as possible.

Will Your Big Mac Come With A Breathalyzer?

will-mcdonalds-bring-breathalyzer-to-usMcDonald’s is a popular spot to stop after a night of drinking. There’s just something about greasy food to take the edge off after too much alcohol, and the extended hours in many locations results in a lot of drunk people hanging around for hours after they should go home.

That’s why one McDonald’s in the United Kingdom has decided to try something new—they’ve installed a breathalyzer device in the restaurant, and they’ll soon be asking customers to submit to a breath test if they want to eat inside. Anyone who blows twice the legal limit of .08 will be denied entry, and the staff will search soft drink bottles and canned drinks for any signs of alcohol. If they are turned away and denied their favorite fast food, patrons will be given an informational pamphlet on the dangers of binge drinking.

The Cambridge location trying this pilot project is located very close to a few bars and night clubs, so it makes sense that people are heading there after the clubs close. With over 140 people charged with drunk and disorderly conduct in Cambridge last year, McDonald’s latest endeavor has the full support of the local council.

Not everyone supports the new breathalyzer initiative. Local college students feel it’s a violation of their human rights, but after another customer punched a woman inside the restaurant last year, the Cambridge McDonald’s feels it’s time to crack down.

The real question is whether or not McDonald’s in the United States will see this as an option and add it to US restaurants. There’s been news reports of unruly customers in McDonald’s for years, and employees have had to subdue drunk customers on more than one occasion.

Will your Big Mac come with a breathalyzer test? Odds are US McDonald’s restaurants will be keeping a close eye on the Cambridge location in the near future.

Binge Drinking Is Dangerous To Your Health In More Ways Than One

binge-drinkingIt’s easy to stop drinking beverages like water, soda, or milk—when you’re not thirsty anymore, you stop drinking. But when it comes to alcohol? Drinking alcoholic beverages like wine, beer, or spirits isn’t about drinking until you’re not thirsty anymore. It’s about drinking until you’re buzzed or intoxicated. Being buzzed or drunk once in awhile isn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things as long as you aren’t drinking and driving. The real problems only begin when you’re constantly drinking alcohol to excess or binge drinking.

Binge drinking means different things to different people. Some binge drink only on weekends, while others drink to excess every single day. No matter what category you fall into or how you define it, binge drinking is dangerous to your health.

The Harvard School of Public Health along with other researchers have found that binge drinking is linked to an increase in severe health problems. To start, there was found to be an increase in heart attack risk associated with binge drinking. After surveying 4000 heart attack victims and asking about their drinking habits prior to their heart episode, they found that the largest chance of a repeat heart attack increased by 72% in the hour after they began drinking.

In addition to the heart attack risk, researchers found that binge drinking and repeat exposure to high levels of alcohol affect long-term memory and learning skills. Adults aren’t the only ones who are binge drinking to excess either. Data complied on teen drinking has also found that binge drinking can affect teens to the point where it disrupts brain development and leads to anxiety issues and excessive drinking in adulthood.

Drinking a glass of alcohol once in awhile can actually have health benefits, but drinking to excess can only lead to trouble. Besides the hang-over the next day and the threat of alcohol poisoning, people need to be aware the damage done by binge drinking is real and it can be permanent. You can stay safe while consuming alcohol; you just need to know where to draw the line.

Arizona Colleges Are Just Saying No To Binge Drinking And Tailgating

binge drinkingAsk anyone who attends college football games about tailgating and they’ll tell you it’s a long standing and much loved tradition, but it’s also a tradition that just might have reached the end of the line.

Arizona State University is cracking down on tailgating and all of the kegs and drinking games that go along with it, and for the first time in history it will join in with other public universities to ban any type of drinking activities in common tailgating areas.

These new rules are part of a public safety initiative by the Arizona Statewide Student Safety Task Force, and they’re being implemented as a way to encourage students to focus on healthy behaviors and activities instead of binge drinking. Arizona has one of the highest number of underage binge drinkers, with 26.5% of teens surveyed reporting having 5 drinks in a row within a few hour time frame as opposed to an average of 21.9% nationwide.

The new rules haven’t been met without opposition. Some ticket holders at a recent Arizona game thought it would decrease enjoyment of the game and keep people at home instead watching instead of coming out.

This change in attitude toward tailgating seems to be a nationwide trend that will soon be the norm and not the exception. Yale banned tailgating and kegs in 2012 after a woman was killed by a U-Haul driven by a student attending a tailgating party, and California Polytechnic State University has now banned hard alcohol and kegs after a student died from alcohol poisoning during a fraternity party in 2008.

Tailgating might be fun for anyone who enjoys the atmosphere of drinking and socializing in parking lots, but in addition to promoting binge drinking, tailgating may also encourage people to drink and drive. It’s all too easy to simply pick up the keys and drive home when you’re hanging out in a parking lot of vehicles, so the trend to ban tailgating may have more benefits than just putting a stop to binge drinking.

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