Winter holiday celebrations are unwrapping differently this year. We are all staying at home to protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19—but we will sure miss watching the awkward dancing at the year-end work-celebration! We suggest hosting a similar tongue in cheek event: a digital ugly sweater party!

This year the stress, uncertainty, and getting tired of the same faces every day might sway you to grab another spiked-holiday beverage. Research is suggesting that rates of alcohol consumption are up and are likely to continue into the winter months.1  But, when a few becomes a few too many, serious injuries can happen.

Most of us are aware of the risks of excessive alcohol consumption—the long-term health consequences, the risk of drinking and driving, and so on. But what we might not know is that excessive alcohol consumption dramatically increases the risk and severity of injuries.

Drinking can impair your coordination, as well as your ability to recognize and respond to risks.2 It comes as no surprise that:

  • On average, there are 506 alcohol-related injury deaths each year.3
  • Each year, 68 people die in crashes involving impaired driving, half of which happen during the winter months. 4
  • In Canada, the most recent estimates of the total cost of alcohol-related harm equates to $4.2 billion per year for health care.5

Let’s cheers to this winter season by practicing the art of moderation. By all means, try that new holiday cocktail recipe—just make sure to have a word with yourself before one becomes too many.

 

References:

1.  COVID-19 and Increased Alcohol Consumption: NANOS Poll Summary Report. https://www.ccsa.ca/sites/default/files/2020-04/CCSA-NANOS-Alcohol-Consumption-During-COVID-19-Report-2020-en.pdf

2.  Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. “Alcohol consumption greatly increases serious injury risk for heavy and moderate drinkers.” ScienceDaily.

3.  BC Vital Statistics Agency, Retrieved from the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, 2017.

4.  Alcohol Impaired Driving. ICBC. Retrieved from https://www.icbc.com/road-safety/crashes-happen/impaired-driving/Pages/default.aspx

5. Canadian Drug Summary: Alcohol. Retrieved from: https://www.ccsa.ca/sites/default/files/2020-10/CCSA-Canadian-Drug-Summary-Alcohol-2019-en.pdf