Drinking & Driving: How Dangerous is It?
The consequences surrounding drinking and driving are very real and should never be taken lightly. Those who suffer from alcohol use disorders are often the most at risk for engaging in driving while under the influence. Alcohol use disorders require treatment and those who are suffering deserve help. If you or someone you know has developed an alcohol use disorder, it is important to seek help as soon as possible.
The Dangers of Alcohol Abuse
Drinking alcohol is associated with both short-term and long-term consequences to both the body and mind. Alcohol abuse is actually considered “alcohol use disorder”. Alcohol use disorder can be classified into three different categories: mild, moderate, and severe. The most severe form being alcoholism. Alcohol abuse can take many forms, such as binge drinking or heavy drinking. Any amount of alcohol, however, can cause dangerous side effects.
Drinking, even moderately, can lead to issues. There is no set amount of time that can cause someone to develop symptoms or what specifically they will experience. Effects of alcohol can range from slurred speech and dizziness to anxiety and blacking out. Someone who drinks more often and drinks higher amounts of alcohol are more prone to developing serious health complications, such as liver disease or kidney failure. Alcoholism can occur at any time, but it is most often associated with those who drink heavily and regularly. Those who drink more will generally have a higher tolerance, meaning they require more alcohol to achieve the same effects.
Alcoholism is considered to be an alcohol use disorder and also a brain disease. As your tolerance increases, your brain has a desire to seek more and more alcohol to achieve the same “high” as before. Your brain will continue to become impulsive and compulsive, despite negative consequences that may occur. This can lead to engaging in risky, criminal, and negative behavior. Someone may also experience strained relationships, mental health issues, and a variety of other physical health problems.
How Much Alcohol is Too Much?
A common question is, “How much alcohol can I drink?”. There is no one universal answer. The answer to this question differs according to the individual and is based on many factors. These factors include someone’s medical history, underlying mental health issues, genes, and how often they drink. Everyone’s body processes alcohol differently and it is important to become familiar with yours. Talk to your primary doctor about alcohol use and they can help you have a clearer understanding of where your limits lie.
What is Drinking and Driving?
Drinking and driving can sometimes be referred to as driving while under the influence or driving while intoxicated with a BAC (blood alcohol count) of at least .08. Consuming alcohol and getting behind the wheel of a car is dangerous not only to your own safety but also to others’. Those who struggle with alcoholism or are binge drinkers present the highest risk for driving under the influence. Alcohol often takes roughly half an hour to two hours to be absorbed into the bloodstream. During this time, your mind will become impaired and you will begin experiencing effects.
Any amount of alcohol can cause impairment and makes driving dangerous. Instead of driving while under the influence, call a cab or order up an uber. Driving under the influence is illegal and can come with some hefty penalties, as well as jail time. Many people, especially college students, defend the act of driving while “buzzed”. However, buzzed driving is drunk driving. Drivers sometimes think that they can drive home safely, but end up being involved in a collision or fatal accident.
The Dangers of Drinking and Driving
Drinking and driving is a serious issue and can prove to have deadly consequences. If you or someone you love has been drinking, do not get behind the wheel of a car. There are always other options to get you somewhere safe that will not risk your life and the lives of others. Listed below are ways that drinking impairs your driving.
Drinking impairs your coordination and ability to concentrate. Heavy drinking has a direct effect on your motor skills. This includes your eyes, hands, and feet. If you have ever seen a field sobriety test, you will have seen a police officer testing a driver’s level of coordination. A lack of ability to have hand-eye coordination is a sure sign that someone has been drinking. This makes driving incredibly dangerous, as you may have difficulty turning the wheel or recognizing things in your line of sight.
Drinking slows your reaction time. Alcohol is considered a depressant, which means it suppresses your nervous system. This causes you to react slower in situations. For example, if a car in front of you were to suddenly stop, you may not react quick enough to avoid a collision. The same is true if you happen to make a wrong turn or someone happens to walk in front of you, as in, you may not react soon enough to prevent an accident.
Drinking makes it difficult to see. One of the most common effects of drinking alcohol is blurred or impaired vision. Your eyes may also be rapidly moving, which may be uncontrollable. This makes it extremely dangerous to drive. You may have difficulty with your depth perception, misjudging how far your car is from a stop sign or how far away you are from another vehicle. You may also have difficulty recognizing objects in your peripheral vision.
Seek Treatment for Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol has the capability to destroy your life. Do not let it. If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol abuse, seek treatment immediately to help limit the effects it could have on your life. Recovery and sobriety are possible for everyone, no matter how far off the path they feel they are.
Arizona Addiction Recovery Center is home to a dedicated team of professionals that can guide you or your loved one through the treatment process. They specialize in providing individualized care, alongside unique treatment plans that are designed for success. They believe in not only treating the addiction but also helping repair every aspect of a person’s life. Call today to learn more about how they can change your life.