Did you know that Thanksgiving Eve has skyrocketed to be one of the biggest binge drinking days of the year? Some call it “Drinksgiving”, or “Blackout Wednesday”, and it’s become an extraordinary night for the bar industry. I explain to KRON 4 Morning News weekend anchor, Marty Gonzalez, the why’s and why not’s of this big drinking holiday.
Drinkers and Drivers Beware!
Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, high-risk binge drinking and DUI- related injuries increase by 33 percent. In some cities, there are more DUI’s and hospitalizations due to alcohol consumption during Drinksgiving. According to MADD, more people are KILLED during the Thanksgiving holiday than the Christmas holiday.
Since around 2012, Thanksgiving Eve has become known as one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year — right up there with St. Patrick’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday, and July Fourth. Why? Thanksgiving Eve is a big holiday homecoming party.
A lot of people are visiting their parents for the long weekend and kick off the event by meeting up (and drinking) with old friends. Some bar owners say their business goes up as much as 400% compared to an average Wednesday. It’s considered the “holiday before the holiday”.
Most Popular Drink During Thanksgiving
- Wine – about 65% of drinkers
- Beer – 20%
- Mixed liquor drinks – about 15%
What is a Standard Drink?
In the U.S., one “standard” drink is defined as 0.6 fl. oz of “pure” alcohol which equates to:
- 12-oz regular beer (about 5% alcohol; light beer about 4.2% alcohol)
- 5-oz. glass of wine (about 12% alcohol)
- 1.5-oz. shot of distilled spirits (gin, rum, tequila, vodka, whisky, etc. — about 40% alcohol)
What’s Considered Binge Drinking
Binge drinking is defined as having the following within a two-hour period:
- Women: 4 or more drinks
- Men: 5 or more drinks
One bottle of wine = 25 ounces (five 5-oz servings)
On the average, 2 people can finish a full bottle of wine in about 2 to 2.5 hours.
Long-Term Health Dangers from Binge Drinking
- Heart Disease: Binge drinking can cause weakening of the heart muscles (“alcoholic cardiomyopathy”) even in 20- and 30-somethings and results in congestive heart failure.
- Blood Pressure: There is a definitive link between blood pressure and the amount of alcohol consumed. Binge drinking, in particular, has been associated with dangerous surges in blood pressure.
- Cancer: Alcohol is a known carcinogen for areas of the head and neck — the mouth, esophagus, throat. Long-term binge drinking may also increase the risk for cancers of the liver and breast.
- Brain Damage: Binge drinking impacts the developing brain whereby a person in their 20’s is especially vulnerable to long-term memory loss and an inability to learn new skills in the years to come. That’s because the brain is continually changing and alcohol can interfere with those changes. Alcohol in large quantities is toxic to the delicate cells within the brain.
- Alcohol Poisoning (Death): From 2010 to 2012, alcohol poisoning was responsible for approximately 2,200 deaths each year, or six deaths per day. Most people who die from alcohol poisoning are white men ages 35 to 64, according to the CDC.
- Injuries: Per the CDC, binge drinking is responsible for 80,000 DEATHS in the U.S. each year.
Karen’s Fit Tip: More than 38 million U.S. adults binge drink. Know your limits, watch your intake, and consider the immediate and long-term health risks.