70% Of All Water Recreation Deaths Involve Alcohol
Alcohol and swimming are a deadly combination
July 18, 2017
(press release: summitbehavioralhealth) // New Jersey // Maria Ulmer MA, LMFT, CAADC | Chief Clinical Officer
If you’ve ever spent a hot summer day on a boat or lounging around a pool, you know that the sun intensifies the effects of alcohol. High temps and the hot sun beating down leads to dehydration, and this can make anyone more susceptible to intoxication.
Sadly, alcohol plays a prominent role in water recreation deaths. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), drinking is a factor in 70 percent of all water recreation fatalities.
How Alcohol Affects Swimmers
The NIAAA states that alcohol and swimming are a deadly combination. Alcohol impairs your judgment and causes many people to take risks they ordinarily would not. “Even experienced swimmers may venture out farther than they should and not be able to make it back to shore.” When people consume alcohol at the pool or on the beach, they are more likely to drown.
Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional death in the United States. Each day, about 10 people drown in the U.S. About one in five drowning victims are children under 14 years old. A study conducted in Australia found that 66 percent of drowning victims would have failed a sobriety test at the time of their death.
How Alcohol Affects Boaters
Alcohol is a factor in 60 percent of boating accidents. People are very familiar with the laws regarding drinking and driving a car, but they’re less acquainted with laws that govern drinking and boating. In many cases, people don’t realize that boating and drinking is a crime and that police can and do arrest people for BUI (boating under the influence).
According to the NIAAA, a boat operator with a blood alcohol concentration over .01 percent is 16 times more likely to be involved in a fatal boating accident than a sober boat operator.
Tips for Staying Sober in the Sun
If you’re around people who consume alcohol around the pool, at the beach, or on a boat, it can be challenging to say no to a drink.
Connect with sober friends – Be choosy about the people you spend your time with. If you know certain friends are heavy drinkers, make an effort to spend more time with friends who don’t use alcohol to enhance their fun.
Stay hydrated – The hot sun can cause you to quickly become dehydrated, which can make it tempting to reach for a cold beer or quick cocktail. Buy yourself a fun water bottle and keep cool by staying hydrated. You’ll be less likely to drink alcohol to cool off.
Speak up – If you feel comfortable, let your friends know you’re newly sober. Most people are very understanding and will avoid offering you drinks or consuming alcohol around you. This support can be invaluable as you get through the summer season sober.
Summit is the support you can trust
Alcoholism for some has become the enemy. You will not meet a human being who does not enjoy a good time but some may only achieve a good time through the consumption of alcohol. It then becomes an addiction that cannot be ignored.
If your daily life is filtered through the lenses of the next needed drink..then you need help.
Call our behavioral health professionals today at 1-844-643-3869 to speak to a substance abuse expert about your treatment options.