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To Your Health: Binge Drinking

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Watching the ball drop in Times Square, singing “Old Lang Syne” and toasting with champagne are traditional ways of celebrating the new year. However, for some, the holiday provides what seems like a socially acceptable reason to overindulge in alcohol.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States notes that a quarter of the $49-billion-a-year industry’s profits come from the month between Thanksgiving and the New Year. According to SafeAuto.com, compared to an average night on the weekend, there are 71% more alcohol-related crashes between December 31st at 6pm and January 1st at 6am.

Caron Treatment Centers conducted a survey that revealed most Americans have no idea what high-risk drinking looks like, which lulls them into a false sense of security regarding their limits. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration which conducts the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, defines binge drinking as 5 or more alcoholic drinks for males or 4 or more alcoholic drinks for females on the same occasion.

To avoid binge drinking on special occasions, like New Year’s Eve, many addiction and recovery specialists advise going to celebrations where alcohol is not the main focus and with people who will have similar consumption limits in mind. Consume slowly and be aware what the size of a standard drink is.



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