Less drinking, more thinking

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest column from the Swanton Area Community Coalition and Four County ADAMHs Board.

Ahh summer! Ready to fire up the grill or open up your favorite beverage? When things heat up we all like to transition to outdoor activities but it’s important that we, as a community, make good decisions while enjoying the wonderful weather and much deserved relaxation. Studies show that there is an increase in the consumption of alcohol during the summer season. If you’re of age, kicking back with a beer isn’t the issue; It’s the excessive consumption that’s of concern for our community.

Alcohol can be very dangerous because it is a depressant, which means it slows down your central nervous system such as breathing and heart rate. Over consumption can make you more susceptible to doing things that you would not normally do like drinking and driving, making poor decisions or acting dangerously.

During the summer, we are asking our community to be responsible drinkers. This involves making sure you’re safe, making sure those around you are safe, actively avoiding dangerous situations, minimizing the risks to yourself and others, and having a positive overall drinking experience.

Practicing responsible drinking is the only safe way to enjoy alcohol but unfortunately isn’t how everyone drinks. Binge drinking, a popular trend of consuming 4-5 drinks in an evening or drinking to get drunk, on the other hand leaves behind negative effects that can be felt long after the “buzz” has worn off.

Once an individual reaches the point of intoxication, dangers including dizziness, loss of coordination, vomiting, lack of judgment, passing out, or even death becomes a realistic outcome. Even if a person passes out, the blood alcohol levels can continue to rise putting the person in extreme danger. Do you know what else is dangerous? Driving while intoxicated.

If you find yourself getting ‘tipsy’ or you’ve just consumed several drinks yet think you’re “fine,” for the safety and well-being of those around you, we ask that you take a second to ask yourself, “Should I really drive right now?” or “Is this going to negatively affect anyone else around me?” If you have to contemplate the answer, please don’t do it! There is always another option. Wait to make the decision, ask for a ride from a sober individual, call a transportation company, but even more important don’t pick up another one.

Swanton Area Community Coalition (SACC) in partnership with the Four County ADAMHs Board wants you to be safe this summer. Don’t risk your life or another’s. Less drinking, more thinking. Connect with Swanton Area Community Coalition on facebook for more information.