The holidays are a time of celebration. Families and friends gather together for meals, gifts, and festive drinks. Champagne toasts to the New Year, warm rum toddies near the fireplace, and glasses of red wine on the table often go hand-in-hand with the holidays. At the end of the evening, when guests make their way home on dark, icy roads, too much alcohol in the system can turn a night of celebration into tragedy. While most people know that drinking and driving is dangerous, many do not realize how much alcohol can affect the body and how long alcohol can remain in the system, causing impairment.
If you or someone you love struggles to stop drinking, you may be putting lives at risk. With professional help, overcoming alcohol use can curb the risk of drunk driving on holidays. At Recovery Ranch Tennessee, we provide treatment services to help people find a life of sobriety. From detox and cognitive-behavioral therapy to nutrition, family education, and support group meetings, our program helps individuals gain the skills they need to stay sober. Get started on the road to recovery in our alcohol rehab center today by calling 1.844.876.7680.
The Prevalence of Holiday Drunk Driving
The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reported in 2011 that between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, 40% of accidents on the road involved drunk drivers. This was a 12% increase over the other weeks in December. With more people drunk driving on holidays, people need to be aware of just how easily alcohol can affect their ride home. To clear up some misconceptions about alcohol’s effect on the body, stay informed with facts detailing the detrimental effects alcohol can have on a person’s driving capabilities after the holiday party.
Quiet Effects Can Lead to Drunk Driving Accidents
Some people believe that feeling in control means that they are not impaired. This isn’t necessarily so. The NIAAA cautions that alcohol quickly begins its effects on the body and may last for hours. Alcohol often affects a person’s perception, coordination, and judgment before they realize it. They might step into their car believing they are completely competent to drive home. However, alcohol slows reaction time, and this may just be long enough of a pause to prevent a driver from applying the brakes, swerving to miss an obstacle, or recovering from a small slide on ice or snow.
Drunk Driving Incidents May Stem from Long-Lasting Effects
Some people have a few drinks at the beginning of the evening, thinking that the alcohol’s dulling effects will wear off before they must drive home. Then, they may even try to sober up with a cup of coffee. Both of these actions are misconceptions about how alcohol works in the body. The effects of a few drinks early in the evening can last through the following day. Alcohol in the bloodstream can affect the brain for hours. The idea that caffeine can help lessen the effects of alcohol is false. Coffee will not help a person drive home more safely. The body must have time for the alcohol to exit the bloodstream.
Find Help at Recovery Ranch in Nunnelly, Tennessee
Reducing the number of people drunk driving on holidays is vital to saving more lives during these special celebrations. Our detox and rehab programs provide compassionate care to people struggling to stop drinking. At our center in Tennessee, we offer a range of services, including:
- Onsite detox – With our medical staff overseeing the withdrawal process, we can help reduce discomfort and prevent more serious alcohol-related health complications.
- Residential treatment – We offer recovery programs that help individuals learn how to manage cravings and stay sober.
- Dual diagnosis treatment – Our approach helps people struggling with co-occurring mental health disorders and substance abuse.
- Aftercare planning – With our team’s assistance, we can help individuals prepare for life after treatment.