When summertime rolls around, it seems like every beer commercial features happy people frolicking around a pool or on a beach, suggesting that alcohol use is especially fun in the summer sun. But the truth is that alcohol, summertime heat, and water play makes for a dangerous combination.
Drinking in the heat causes dehydration
Have you ever noticed that a pint of beer makes you need to use the bathroom more often than 16 ounces of water? That’s because alcohol acts as a diuretic, causing increased urination and speeding up the dehydration process. If you don’t replace those lost fluids, dehydration can be life threatening.
It can lead to a heat stroke
As thirst quenching as marketing departments can make an alcoholic drink look, alcohol actually lowers the body’s tolerance for heat. At the same time, it raises your blood pressure, which increases your risk of overheating and getting heat stroke.
Drinking in the water can lead to risky behavior
Alcohol impairs judgment and makes people overconfident about the outcome of risky behaviors. When water sports and water play are mixed with alcohol, it often results in diving board accidents, drowning, and other dangerous consequences. Research shows that alcohol is a factor in up to 70% of teen and adult deaths associated with water recreation.
Alcohol and boating leads to accidents
Alcohol affects balance, vision, coordination, and judgment. And on a boat, stressors like wind, sun, motion, and vibration can magnify the effects of alcohol and accelerate impairment. Research funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism claims that alcohol may be involved in 1/3 of boating fatalities. These deaths are sometimes caused by the combination of passengers falling overboard and the impaired judgment and reaction time of other intoxicated boaters whose alcohol use renders them unable to respond to the emergency.
Summer fun doesn’t have to include drinking
Beaches, boating, pool parties, and barbecues can all be great fun without alcohol. And if you drink plenty of water to stay cool and hydrated, you’ll lower your risk of heatstroke and dehydration.
If you’re having a difficult time imagining a summer without drinking, or if you find yourself consuming alcohol even when you intended not to, you may have an alcohol addiction.
Remember, you can ask for help if you need it. There are many resources available to you, including people who will answer your questions, provide support, and help you live a life free from your alcohol addiction. Give us a call at (858) 784-7867.