A National Directory of Drug Treatment Centers and Alcohol Treatment Centers, Therapists and Specialists. A free, simple directory providing assistance and guidance for those seeking help regarding alcohol addiction, drug addiction, dependency and many other conditions that affect the mind, body and soul.
Call 800-580-9104 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

Driving After Binge Drinking More Common Than Believed

Nearly one in eight binge drinkers say they get behind the wheel and drive within two hours of drinking, U.S. government researchers report.

The new research adds a timeline and other new information to what’s known about drinking and driving, said study author Dr. Timothy Naimi, a physician with the alcohol team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report is scheduled to be published in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“A lot of studies, including ours, have established a strong connection between binge drinking and impaired driving, which is sort of obvious on some level,” he said. “What hasn’t been looked at is how many people actually do get behind the wheel after a binge drinking episode.”

So Naimi and his colleagues evaluated data from more than 14,000 adults in 13 states in 2003 and 14 states in 2004, who reported binge drinking and then answered additional questions. They were part of the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System survey.

Binge drinking was defined as having five or more drinks during an occasion, such as an evening out or at a party.

Overall, 11.9 percent of the binge drinkers drove within two hours of their binge drinking, Naimi found.

“It’s a pretty awesome number when you link it up with the number of binge drinking episodes in the U.S.,” he said. According to the CDC, about 1.5 billion binge drinking episodes occur in the United States each year.

“If you were to spread that out [equally among the population], that would be over seven binge drinking episodes per adult per year,” Naimi said.

Two other statistics shed more light on the binge drinking and driving issue, he said. For starters, 50 percent of the binge drinkers were aged 25 to 44. And the binge drinkers were often coming from bars, clubs and restaurants — 54.3 percent of them, in fact. Just 23 percent had been drinking at someone else’s home.

Laws make it illegal for bars, clubs and restaurants to sell alcohol to intoxicated people, Naimi pointed out. But those laws are not well-enforced. “The key thing about this study is, it’s really illustrating the shared responsibility between individual drinkers and the places that are selling them alcohol.”

Another expert, Nick Ellinger, a spokesman for MADD, said one unique aspect of the study is that “‘they looked at the incidence of binge drinking as it related to drunk driving by location.”

If you look only at bars and clubs, he said, one of five binge drinkers who drink at those locations drive afterwards.

The message? Not binge drinking is best, of course. But if you think you may over-indulge, make plans in advance for safe transport home, Ellinger said. “A lot of people drive to bars and restaurants to drink. It’s wise ahead of time to make your plans for how you are going to get home safely because after you have begun drinking that decision-making process breaks down.”

“The research shows that driving after binge drinking is a preventable problem,” said David Jernigan, an associate professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore.

“There are things to do” to remedy the problem, he said, including training servers to stop serving people who are intoxicated and strengthening the liability of club and restaurant owners.

For consumers, planning transportation home ahead of time is crucial, he said. But designated drivers have not been shown to work, he added. “It creates a carload of designated drunks,” he said, some of whom may insist on driving. Public transportation is another, and sometimes safer, option.

source: Health Day News

More Treatment & Detox Articles

Heavy drinkers may develop Alzheimer's earlier

Drinking or smoking heavily can speed up the development of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study. Scientists found that drinkers developed the disease almost five years earlier and heavy smokers just over two years earlier, after studying 938 people aged 60 or more who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Ranjan Duara, of the Mount….

Continue reading

Why Obama Isn’t Funding Needle Exchange Programs

Buried on page 795 of President Obama’s budget, released last Thursday, is a paragraph banning the federal funding of needle-exchange programs for drug addicts — an apparent about-face on his campaign promise to overturn that longstanding ban. To the further consternation of AIDS and addiction activists, a statement of support for needle exchange was recently….

Continue reading

Binge drinking – the Maltese way

Maltese boozers start younger but handle their drink better, an international study finds. And while the law has often been amended to address issues such as underage drinking, enforcement has to date been scant. James Debono analyses our alcohol culture through statistics Maltese teenagers are more likely to binge than their peers in the United….

Continue reading

Choosing the Best Treatment Centers for Substance Abuse

Many factors should be considered before choosing a center for substance abuse treatment. Cost isn’t the only important factor, location and level of care also matter. The best treatment centers for substance abuse will vary from one patient to the next based on individual needs. When you decide to seek help, for yourself or a….

Continue reading

New Path For Cocaine Addiction Research

Cocaine is one of the oldest drugs known to humans, and its abuse has become widespread since the end of the 19th century. At the same time, we know rather little about its effects on the human brain or the mechanisms that lead to cocaine addiction. The latest article by Dr. Marco Leyton, of the….

Continue reading