19 Nov ‘Tis the Season to Avoid Another DUI around Blackout Wednesday
More so than St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving is the holiday when most arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) are made. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 40% of traffic-related deaths between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are attributed to drunk driving, compared to 28% for the rest of the year. Thanksgiving Eve, also referred to as “Drinksgiving” or “Blackout Wednesday,” is traditionally the busiest night of the year for bars when social binge drinking is at its peak. On the Eve of Turkey Day when most people don’t have to work the next day and college students are home for the holidays, pubs and bars everywhere advertise their Black Wednesday specials, attracting large crowds who want to celebrate with old friends they haven’t seen in a while.
Backup Plans for Blackout Wednesday
For individuals recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, upcoming holidays for revelers may be a major trigger and it would be wise to plan ahead now to avoid getting into situations that might result in a DUI arrest, or worse, the loss of lives. Instead of hanging out at the bars, why not plan an evening with the kids? If you don’t have kids, you can give your friends or family members a much-needed break by spending quality time with your nieces, nephews, or other kids. Below are some Thanksgiving activities you may enjoy:
• Teach kids various ways to draw a turkey
• Play Pictionary, Charades, or other games
• Play the guitar or other musical instrument as kids sing along
• Offer to help cook Thanksgiving dinner for the family and guests
• Bring some DVDs for a movie marathon
• Come up with some arts and crafts activities for all ages
Do you recognize a developing addiction in a loved one?
During the holidays, you may come across a family member or an old friend who appears to have a drinking habit closely resembling yours prior to receiving addiction treatment. Since drinking is so normalized around this time of year, most young adults and working professionals drink themselves into a drunken stupor, rationalizing their social binge drinking as just something seasonal around friends and family. It might be hard for you to recognize signs of alcohol dependence if you’re only in town for the weekend, but your concern is justified if you notice the following:
• Your loved one drank more than intended
• Your friend tried to stop after a certain number of glasses but could not
• Your family member expressed an urge or craving for a drink
• Other loved ones expressed their concerns about someone’s drinking habits
• Your loved one expressed an unhealthy motive to drink (e.g., the willingness to drive after a night of drinking, going to a bar to meet someone or other risky behaviors)
• Your loved one drank unusually more than last year
• Your friend experienced withdrawal symptoms (i.e., shakiness, tremors, restlessness) the next day
Having that difficult conversation will save your loved one’s life and many more
There’s really never a comfortable time to have a difficult conversation with someone about their drinking problem, especially around the holidays. The timing feels off, but if you don’t say anything now, can you live with yourself if your loved one ends up getting a DUI or, heaven forbid, takes another life including his own? If you are having a tough time initiating an important and life-changing conversation with a loved one, you can get help from an experienced professional at New Method Wellness, one of the nation’s top dual diagnosis treatment centers. Handpicked by Dr. Phil, New Method Wellness is featured on the critically acclaimed A & E’s Intervention and has also appeared in National Geographic for the high quality of their holistic therapy and dual diagnosis treatment programs.
Avoid another DUI. For more information, call 866.951.1824 today!