Stay off the roads: While Thanksgiving holds the highest incidence of drunk driving, New Years Eve and Day is in second place. Many people start drinking early on New Year’s Eve day and then run errands to prepare for the evening. ER’s are full all day and night on New Year’s Eve with victims of automobile accidents involving alcohol. Over 40% of fatal automobile accidents are alcohol related. Approximately 30% of Americans will be in an accident involving alcohol.
If drinking: A couple of tips to help prevent over drinking.
- Drink a glass of water or a plain soft drink in between alcoholic beverages
- Add extra non-alcohol mixers to your drinks, ie. extra soda, tonic, water, or juice so it takes you longer to consume the same amount of alcohol
- Never eat on an empty stomach. Always be sure to eat before you drink, not the other way around. Eating beforehand helps to slow the absorption of alcohol. If you eat after drinking it’s too late, the alcohol has already absorbed into your blood stream and food will do nothing to help blood alcohol content at this point
- You cannot sober yourself up with coffee after drinking too much, if you are tired it can wake you up, but you will be just as impaired. Once the alcohol is absorbed you can not dilute it, your body has to metabolize it
Warning: Alcohol can be fatal! If someone has had too much to drink they need to be monitored, especially if any drugs, prescription or otherwise were taken in addition to alcohol. People often die by choking on vomit or because their heart rate drops significantly.
- Replenish fluids. Alcohol is a diuretic. It depletes your body of vital fluids as does caffeine, so it is very important to drink water and NOT caffeinated beverages. Some other alternatives if you absolutely cannot stomach water are fruit and vegetable juice, herbal tea with lemon and honey, sports drinks, and bullion. Drinking more alcohol only further dehydrates you and delays the inevitable.
- Eat something. Carbohydrates like bread, and crackers can ease nausea. Bananas can soothe an uneasy stomach by providing sugar and lost nutrients. A protein called Cysteine found in eggs is believed to lessen the effects of a hangover. To help prevent becoming overly rundown be sure to take your vitamins and minerals. Taking supplements containing vitamin B, C, magnesium, and zinc.
From all of us here at the Accident Recovery Center we hope you have a very safe, happy, healthy, New Year!!!
Dr. Ryan Giel