Hazards of drinking in the summer

While many South Carolina residents know that heat and alcohol can both have their dangers, some may not have thought about the hazards of combining these substances. When combined, heat and alcohol can have a far-reaching impact on people, and it is important to understand why this combination can be so dangerous.

Alcohol can cause impairment no matter what time of year someone drinks. According to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, people can have problems multi-tasking when their blood alcohol concentration is at 0.02. By the time people are considered to be drunk, they are usually unable to drive safely because their reactions and vision are impaired. When this level of impairment takes place on a hot afternoon, the consequences can sometimes be higher than usual. This is because people experience difficulties keeping their body temperature stable when they are drunk, and heat has a similar effect on the human body.

Because of these similar impacts, people may experience additional problems when they drink in the summer. UnityPoint Health says that blood vessels typically dilate when people have been out in the sun and this can cause someone to faint. Additionally, both alcohol and heat remove liquids from the body through urine and sweat. People can become dehydrated more quickly when they drink on hot days, and they may also experience nausea and dizziness. People may also incur heat stroke when alcohol accompanies outdoor activities in the summer.

Because alcohol and heat can affect people in much the same way, people may not always realize they are drunk after a day of outdoor activities and drinking until they are behind the wheel and unable to react to stimuli on the road. Because of this, it is recommended that people take steps such as calling someone for a ride to ensure that they get home safely.

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