HCN News & Notes

Summertime Binge Drinking: Are You at Risk?

WORCESTER — Summertime drinking begins well before the official start to summer, with graduations and Memorial Day celebrations, and moves on to outdoor barbecues, pool parties, and beach parties, right through Labor Day and beyond. But how much is too much?

Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks in a short period of time for men, and four or more drinks in a short period of time for women. More than one drink per day places adults over the age of 65 who are physiologically more sensitive to substances at greater risk for substance-related disease and injury.

The consequences of binge drinking are harmful and often deadly. Binge drinking can be even more deadly in summertime as sun, heat, physical activity, and vacations can increase the effects of alcohol and other drugs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of the 80,000 deaths attributed to alcohol use each year are related to binge drinking. Meanwhile, alcohol is involved in up to 70{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of adult or adolescent deaths associated with water recreation. Alcohol is also involved in violence, suicides, alcohol poisonings that often lead to coma and sometimes death, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Here are some common-sense tips from AdCare Hospital in Worcester to keep you safe this summer when drinking alcohol:

• Know your limits.

• Be aware of the danger of driving after drinking, and plan to have a designated driver in your party.

• Engage in conversations with non-drinkers.

• If you’re feeling dehydrated, drink water. Alcohol causes fluid losses that can lead to dehydration.

• Don’t drink at all if you are planning to drive a vehicle or run machinery, if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, if you have medical problem that can be made worse by drinking, or if you take a medication that interacts with alcohol.

If you’d like help taking a look at your drinking, AdCare Hospital will help you figure it out and make a plan to stay healthy and enjoy life. Conceived in 1975 as a 10-bed alcoholism service in a general hospital, AdCare provides care for people affected by substance-use disorders.

With inpatient and outpatient facilities in Worcester, Boston, Quincy, North Dartmouth, and West Springfield, Mass., and in Warwick and North Kingston, R.I., AdCare is accredited by the Joint Commission and offers nationally recognized treatment for individuals and families affected by substance-use disorders.

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