December is National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month and for good reason.

Americans consume more alcoholic beverages on New Year’s Eve than any other day of the year with Christmas coming in second, based on a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults entitled “Alcohol and America.” The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is described as “one of the deadliest and most dangerous times on America’s roadways” due to an increase in impaired driving.

There are many illegal, prescription and over-the-counter drugs that impair driving, yet people continue to get behind the wheel while using them.  Did you know you can be arrested even if the drug is a prescription?  The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration’s Roadside Survey found 22% of drivers were positive for a potentially impairing drug during weekday/daytime and weekend/nighttime, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration’s Roadside Survey.

National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month is a reminder not to drive if you are drinking or under the influence of drugs because you put your life and the life of others at risk.

It’s OK to say no to alcohol at parties. Bring your own non-alcoholic beverage to make sure you have something festive to drink. Hosts also should offer some non-alcoholic options for guests wanting to stay sober or in recovery.

Dietary guidelines recommend moderation in alcohol consumption with a maximum of one drink per day for adult women and 2 per day for adult men. Some researchers say no level of alcohol consumption is safe so this is an excellent reason to abstain. Studies show drinking causes higher risk for heart disease, stroke, liver disease, cancer, immune system issues, and early death.

Illicit drugs cause one in four deaths. Some drugs cause health consequences that are long-lasting and permanent even when a person has stopped using the substance.

If you need help with emotional, behavioral or substance use issues that are taking joy out of the holidays or affecting your health, we are here to help. Our offices are open Monday through Friday except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

The CALM Center, available for kids ages 10-17 in an emotional, behavioral or substance abuse crisis, is open every day around the clock, including holidays.

Everyone at Counseling & Recovery Services wishes you a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.