There’s no question that drinking and driving is a deadly concoction Though often overlooked, drinking can also increase the likelihood of injuries related to fires, drowning, violence and more.
People are more likely to engage in risky behavior when under the influence than when they are sober. Across the world, alcohol is one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths. According to a 2004 study, injuries are involved in 46 percent of all deaths due to alcohol and 42 percent of morbidity.
Emergency room studies have also found that compared to other patients, injured patients are more likely to have positive blood alcohol levels when they arrive at the ER. (PDF) Patients with alcohol-related injuries are more than two and a half times more likely to return to the hospital for continued injuries and even have a slower recovery time due to the alcohol’s effect on the body. (PDF)
Eliminating alcohol could lower the number of violence-related injuries as much as 43 percent compared to injuries from other causes.
As we celebrate National Public Health Week, keep in mind that alcohol-related injuries can be prevented altogether. Next time you’re out on the town, take a moment and think about the simple steps you can take to avoid injury. Check out some quick facts on injuries and alcohol (PDF) and visit the NPHW website for additional injury and violence prevention tips.