Portland, ME 207-671-0807

Organization Helping Parents & Schools Keep Their Children Safe

Keeping Kids Safe is a non-profit 501(c)3 agency

Not On My Watch #8 – Dying To Drink

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. It’s that time of year again when we get together with family and friends to enjoy the time off from work and school. It is the time of year when we exchange gifts and have relaxing dinners with family. Occasionally, adults have alcoholic beverages in celebration of the season. Occasionally, our children may sneak alcohol out of the house. Minors will test boundaries and drink with other friends. This could have devastating consequences, turning this wonderful time of the year into tragedy and devastation. Too many people die every single year due to drinking, too many kids die every year due to underage drinking.

Who gets hurt you might ask? It’s just a few beers. I just had a wine cooler. People, kids like you get hurt. Three out of five Americans will be involved in an alcohol related car crash. Somebody is injured in an alcohol related car crash every 32 seconds.

Who gets killed? Really, I am just having fun with my friends. I am just dancing and listening to music. People like you get killed. In 2011 9,878 people died in alcohol related car crashes. About 42 young people die per week in drunk driving car crashes.

Alcohol can be deadly anytime and in any place. The dangers of drinking and driving might be clear, I hope. Here are some other facts to think about if you decide to drink. Out of fatal accidents such as falls, drownings etc., 4 out of 10 involved alcohol. Alcohol use on or around water is especially dangerous. Alcohol and depression are a deadly duo. In most suicides, alcohol or other drugs have been used. Don’t think you can overdose on alcohol. How about over 10,000 people die every year because of alcohol overdoses. Large amounts of alcohol is toxic and is as lethal as any other poison.

Alcohol also plays a role in violence. Consumption of alcohol resulted in over 10,000 murders last year. If you are not a suspect in a crime, you are most certainly more apt to be a victim if you are intoxicated. Women are more vulnerable to rape while drinking and you are also more vulnerable to be assaulted or robbed.

Consuming alcohol can be a lethal combination with any activity. Judgment is the first thing affected by alcohol. People who have been drinking often believe they have had less to drink than they actually have. Inhibitions become affected and people do things they normally would not if they were sober. Coordination, vision, and motor skills are drastically impaired by alcohol consumption. One harmless little drink my be lethal to someone behind the wheel.

How much is too much? If you are under 21 years old, the only answer is zero. Zero is the only completely safe alcohol consumption level. Most states have a zero tolerance for any consumption for minors. If you or anyone else is concerned about your sobriety, don’t drive. Get a ride or stay where your are. Spend the night if it’s safe to do so. Call a relative. If you find yourself having had a drink, call a person who has not had any alcohol or drugs.

People will die this holiday season, die because of alcohol and or drug consumption. Parents please talk to your children about alcohol and drug abuse. If they are under 21, it is abuse of alcohol. Please present a good example to them. Our children watch us, they see how we treat alcohol and they will mimic us.

I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday season. Please be safe and consider what I have written. People do not need to die this time of year or at anytime of the year. Keep our Kids Safe. If not us, than who?

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