Sometimes the most dangerous enemy isn’t who or what you think it is. When it comes to drugs in America, alcohol kills more people than most other drugs, but almost no one realizes just how dangerous it actually is. While you can overdose and die from using almost any drug, very few are easily accessible. That’s not the case for alcohol.
You can buy it in almost any store or restaurant, and it is (of course) available in every bar. Due to its easy availability, more Americans use alcohol than almost any other drug. Due to not realizing just how dangerous it actually is, far too many Americans also try to drive their vehicles after having a drink. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one third of all car crash deaths involve a driver that was under the influence of alcohol, and this come out to over 10,000 people a year.
That’s more than the population of many American towns dying every year due to driving under the influence. If we want to cut down on this completely avoidable epidemic of death, we need to change the way that we look at alcohol and how we act around it.
Changing our Attitude on Alcohol
The first way that we can change how we act around alcohol is to change the way we view it in connection with social activities and holidays. Alcohol is currently considered an almost vital part of major occasions from weddings and anniversaries to sporting events and amusement park trips. We seem to think that if you’re going to have fun, you’re going to have a drink.
This might not be such a big problem if the United States wasn’t a country of drivers. The US isn’t compact enough to allow public transportation to take you anywhere you want to go. Most Americans are completely dependent on their cars to get them to work and all the other locations they have to travel to. When you combine this nation of drivers with alcohol, there’s going to be trouble.
The most effective way to lower the number of people driving drunk is simply to work at lowering the number of people that drink in the first place. Banning alcohol outright is never going to work (as the US has tried that before to disastrous results), but that doesn’t mean we can’t work at changing the minds of our family members and friends in order to lower the amount of alcohol that everyone is drinking.
Making Drunk Driving Unacceptable
Since a significant lowering of alcohol consumption is a lofty goal that might take a long time to reach, we have to face the fact that there will continue to be people driving themselves to bars and get-togethers with alcohol present. In order to enact widespread change right now, we have to work at making drunk driving unacceptable, or these same drivers will continue to put themselves and others at risk.
While nearly everyone agrees that someone who is falling-down drunk shouldn’t drive, far more people are lax about letting friends and family drive when they have only had a few drinks. The problem is that just a few drinks can still cause the driver to get into an accident. The best prevention for drunk driving is peer pressure, so we need to stop our friends and family from driving even if they think they’ve only had a little.
When driving at all after drinking becomes unacceptable, we can enact real change and see the number of drunk driving fatalities begin to plummet.
Last updated by Freedom Treatment Center at .