Preventing the Dangers of Alcohol-Related Emergencies
Don’t Let Drinking Excessive Alcohol Result in a Tragedy
As medical emergency experts, we know first hand the wide variety of situations that people get into that can result in an emergency. This is why we dedicate time and effort to education and prevention of illnesses and medical conditions as well as the prevention of injuries.
Now that we are enjoying the Texas sun, barbeques become more frequent as well as fun get-togethers. While most of us enjoy an occasional glass of wine, a cocktail, or a few beers, alcohol abuse and alcoholism is a real problem for a growing number of people, and it could affect you or a loved one. Drinking excessive alcohol can turn a fun family and friends reunion into a potential tragedy.
The Ugly Truth About Alcohol Abuse
In the latest report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) show that:
- – 4% of people age 18 and over have consumed alcohol during their lifetime
- – 56% said they drank during the past month
- – 9% admitted to binge drinking during the last month
- – 7% said they drank heavily during the past month
- – 1 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), of these 9.8 million are men and 5.3 are women
- – There are more than 80,000 alcohol-related deaths in the United States every year
Possible Dangers of Drinking Excessive Alcohol
Increased Risk of Injury
Many of the injuries we treat at Altus Emergency Centers are a result of drinking excessive alcohol as it is the leading factor in:
- – 60% of fatal burns, homicides, and drownings
- – 40% of fatal car crashes
- – 50% of severe trauma injuries and sexual assault cases
Long-term Health Problems
People who drink heavily on a regular basis have a greater risk of developing certain chronic health problems, such as:
- – Liver Disease including Cirrhosis
- – Certain types of Cancer such as cancer of the mouth, esophagus, larynx, live, and breast
- – Heart Disease
- – Sleep Disorders
- – Depression
- – Stroke
- – Stomach Bleeding
- – Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)
Drinking excessive alcohol can also make it difficult to control diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic conditions.
We’ve all heard that women should not drink during their pregnancies, but, few really understand the consequences of doing so. Drinking during your pregnancy increases the risk of your child suffering from brain damage and other serious conditions, so if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant you should not drink any alcohol.
Reduce Your Risk
It is no fun when alcohol controls your life, for many, the problem doesn’t seem to be obvious, but drinking for the wrong reasons is a sure sign that alcohol has a hold on you.
Before you drink you should ask yourself the following:
- – Why am I drinking? Is it because I enjoy the taste? Or I’m I trying to change my mood or fit in during a social gathering? Knowing and understanding why you drink will help you control how much you drink.
- – How much have I had to drink today? This week? This Month? Keeping track of how much you drink will shed some light on your drinking habits, and whether you need to seek help or not.
- – Do I really want another drink, or am I just drinking because everyone else is? Don’t give in to peer pressure, if you feel you have had enough, stop, and switch to a non-alcoholic drink for the rest of the night.
When to Visit the ER
Aside from alcohol-related injuries like falls, burns, car crashes, and violence, a person who drinks too much in a short period of time can suffer from what is known as alcohol poisoning.
Alcohol poisoning means there is too much alcohol in the bloodstream, and this can seriously affect areas of the brain that control vital functions like breathing, heart rate, and body temperature.
Some 2,200 people die from alcohol poisoning each year, if you or a loved one develops any of the following symptoms after binge drinking, go to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment as soon as possible:
- – Confusion or disorientation
- – Vomiting
- – Hypothermia
- – Cold or clammy skin
- – Unconsciousness
- – Difficulty walking or standing
- – Irregular pulse
- – Depressed breathing
- – Seizure
- – Choking
- – Loss of bowel or bladder control
- – Bluish skin especially around the lips or under the fingernails
Help is Available
If you feel alcohol is controlling your life or that of a loved one, call the Texas Alcohol Abuse Hotline 1-800-252-6465.
Altus Emergency Centers are equipped with the necessary medications, equipment, and qualified staff to help all types of alcohol-related medical emergencies. There is no time to lose waiting in line during this or any type of emergency. We are open 24/7 with no lines.