’Tis the season for year-end parties, family dinners, and other celebrations. Who doesn’t enjoy catching up with family and friends over a drink to celebrate the holidays and the end of another great year? We do too. But when a few drinks become 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 of injury. And it dramatically increases the severity of those injuries too.
It makes sense when you think about it. Researchers have long understood that drinking can impair coordination, as well as the ability to recognize and respond to risks.1 Given that, it’s not surprising that statistics have underscored the relationship between excessive drinking and serious injury:
- Alcohol use is one of the top contributing factors in motor vehicle crashes, along with distraction and speeding.2
- Average number of alcohol-related injury deaths per year: 506.3
- Among adults aged 20 to 59 in BC, over one third of all deaths are attributable in some way to excessive alcohol consumption.2
We want to pass on a message of moderation. We want to be clear here: go ahead and have a drink, just remember your common sense. Before indulging becomes over-indulging, have a word with yourself—and make sure you’re doing what you need to do to stay safe.
1 Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. “Alcohol consumption greatly increases serious injury risk for heavy and moderate drinkers.” ScienceDaily.
2 Quick Stats. ICBC. Retrieved from https://www.icbc.com/about-icbc/newsroom/Pages/Statistics.aspx.
3 BC Vital Statistics Agency, Retrieved from the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, 2017.