Binge drinking is a growing issue around Thanksgiving

Binge drinking is a growing issue around Thanksgiving
(Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO)

LAWTON, Ok (RNN Texoma) - While most people are looking forward to Thanksgiving and Black Friday, what about Black Wednesday?

It's the day before Thanksgiving and it has become a time of high risk for young adults and college students who choose to drink alcohol heavily.

For many, the holidays are indeed the most wonderful time of the year. Families and friends come together to enjoy food and alcohol

The Wichita Mountains Prevention Network says the latest trend this season is a substantial rise in binge drinking and DUIs on Thanksgiving Eve.

"People are coming home, and since the next day is Thanksgiving, they are going out and doing a lot of heavy drinking on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving," said Booker.

According to the Center for Disease Control, binge drinking for women is four or more drinks in a sitting and five or more for men. There are several facts and myths about binge drinking during the Thanksgiving Holiday. If you think that eating more food will keep you from getting intoxicated: that's a myth.

"No, it might take longer for the alcohol to get through the system but it is still going to be absorbed so eating is really not going to help," said Booker.

If you think drinking coffee or caffeine will sober you up, well that's also a myth.

"The only thing that is going to sober a person up is time. It takes about 1 hour per drink for the body to process the alcohol," said Booker.

Binge drinking can have even worse consequences for younger people, but statistics show it's still happening locally.

In a survey taken in Comanche County in 2016, 19% of 12th graders admitted to binge drinking alcohol and about 10% admitted to driving a car while intoxicated.

"I mean it is shocking that our kids would put themselves at risk if they've been drinking alcohol and then getting behind a vehicle and driving. We have seen accidents in Comanche County, and so we are really working on trying to educate everyone and keep the kids from drinking and driving," said Booker.

If you are hosting Thanksgiving parties or events this year, there are some key things you can do to prevent binge alcohol use and impaired driving.

"For Thanksgiving we would like to say don't have your meal focused around alcohol and partying. Drink it responsibly, and also quit serving alcohol an hour or two before the event is going to be over, and definitely don't let anyone leave your house if it looks like they are intoxicated make sure there is a designated driver or make sure that person gets home safely," said Booker.

Other myths about binge drinking during the holidays include the belief that alcohol is a great way to relax and reduce stress. The Prevention Network said it actually increases the level of stress that is placed on the body.

You may want to think twice if you think beer and wine is safer than liquor. Alcohol is alcohol and it causes problems no matter how you consume it.
One 12-ounce bottle of beer or 5-ounce glass of wine has as much alcohol as 1.5 ounces of liquor.

Copyright 2017 RNN Texoma. All rights reserved.