December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, and it’s the perfect opportunity to talk about the impact of drug- and alcohol-related crashes in the U.S. These crashes highlight the fact that drug and alcohol use have consequences that extend well beyond the person using them. By bringing attention to this issue, we can make our roads safer and encourage people who need help to find it.
As we head into the final stretch of 2019, we should remember that the holiday season is a difficult one for people who struggle with addiction. It’s also a time of year where holiday parties make impaired driving more likely. Let’s look at why observing National Impaired Driving Prevention Month is so important…
How Impaired Driving Affects All of Us
On average, the U.S. loses 30 people every day to impaired driving – one death every 50 minutes. Around 10,000 people were killed in impaired driving crashes in 2018. For each of those individuals who lost their lives, countless others were affected by the loss of their loved ones.
To truly understand the seriousness of this problem, consider the following statistics…
- The police arrested more than 1 million drivers for impaired driving in 2016.
- Each year, there are at least 111 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults.
- Less than 1 percent of impaired driving episodes result in an arrest.
- More than one quarter of traffic deaths in the U.S. involve alcohol.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that impaired driving costs the U.S. more than $44 billion every year. Those costs include…
- Lost productivity,
- Medical bills,
- Legal and court fees,
- Emergency service costs,
- Insurance administration,
- Property damage, and
- Workplace losses.
Economic costs pale in comparison to the suffering people experience because of someone’s decision to get behind the wheel while impaired. The good news is that we can all work together to take National Impaired Driving Prevention Month seriously and reduce the number of drug- and alcohol-related crashes in the U.S.
Reducing the Number of Impaired Drivers on Our Roads During the Holidays
If you’re hosting holiday parties this year, create a plan to make sure no one leaves your party intoxicated. Collect keys of anyone who will be drinking, offer non-alcoholic beverages and plan sleeping or travel arrangements for your attendees.
Be mindful of anyone in your life who is currently in recovery. The holidays can be an especially difficult time for people who want to remain sober. If you have a loved one who is in recovery, try to spend time with them without drinking alcohol.
If you’re currently in recovery, remember that you should give yourself license to do whatever you must to avoid a relapse. In some cases, you might take this year off from gatherings where drugs or alcohol will tempt you.
Spreading the Word About National Impaired Driving Prevention Month
Make time to spread the message about the dangers of driving while intoxicated. If you feel like sharing a story about how impaired driving has affected your life, know that your story might influence someone not to engage in risky behavior. In observance of National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, use social media to talk about the importance of designating drivers when attending holiday gatherings,
If you or someone you know needs help with a substance use disorder, know that you are only a call away from starting the process. At BRC Recovery, we understand the importance of reaching out.
Contact BRC Recovery Today to Learn More About Addiction Treatment
Addiction is a disease. The best way to deal with a substance disorder is through a dedicated addiction treatment program. At BRC Recovery, we help people who believe they are treatment resistant. If you’d like to learn more about our services, contact our team today by calling 1-866-905-4550.