Tis the season, so we don’t need no reason to drink and drive

| December 17, 2015 | 0 Comments
Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Drink in moderation this holiday season. (Courtesy photo)

Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Drink in moderation
this holiday season. (Courtesy photo)

J.M. Miller
Army Substance Abuse Program

A nondrinking designated driver should always be planned for events. (File photo )

A nondrinking designated driver should always be planned for events. (File photo )

Here are some famous last words, “Officer, I only had one drink.”

That may be true, but if that one drink was actually a mixed drink, you probably had five to seven standard drinks.

A standard drink of alcohol is the following:

  • 12 ounces of beer (5 percent alcohol)
  • 5 ounces of wine (12 percent alcohol)
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor (40 percent alcohol), aka, one “shot.”

By having defined a standard drink, all drinks become equal. For instance, one 12-ounce beer equals one shot, or one 12-ounce beer equals one 5-ounce glass of wine.

However, that doesn’t mean one mixed drink, such as a Long Island Iced Tea, equals one standard drink. Mixed drinks can, and often do, have five to seven shots, or five to seven standard drinks in one glass.

The reason that it is important to recognize a standard drink is so that you can know how much you are consuming. For every standard drink you consume, it takes your body one standard hour to process it out.

Drinking IQ

Drinking IQ

Alcohol affects every organ in the body. It is a central nervous system depressant that is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream.

Alcohol is metabolized in the liver by enzymes; however, the liver can only metabolize a small amount of alcohol at a time, leaving the excess alcohol to circulate throughout the body. The intensity of the effect of alcohol on the body is directly related to the amount consumed.

Having one to two standard drinks per day is considered low-risk behavior and will not present a problem with alcohol. Anything above that level of consumption starts to indicate high-risk behavior.

Education is the key to prevent problems with alcohol. Know your limits and stick to them.

Take a Stand! against substance abuse and look out for each other, especially during the holidays.

Happy Holidays from the ASAP team.

(Note: Miller is the prevention coordinator at ASAP, Directorate of Human Resources, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.)

• ASAP

For more information, visit the Army Substance Abuse Program clinic or call (808) 655-8610.

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Category: News, Safety, Take a Stand!

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