Staying Safe Near Water During Alcohol Awareness Month

Staying Safe Near Water During Alcohol Awareness Month

We’ve frequently talked about the dangers of drinking near the water, and since April is National Alcohol Awareness Month, this is a great time to drive that point home! 

This annual event provides an opportunity to increase awareness of alcohol addiction throughout the nation. Overall, National Alcohol Awareness Month aims to bring an understanding of effective treatments available to those who need support. Read on to learn more.

The History of National Alcohol Awareness Month

Established in 1987 by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, National Alcohol Awareness Month tackles alcohol-related stigma and promote a broader understanding of addiction.

It provides a dedicated 30-day period for individuals to share their own experiences with alcoholism and recovery, and to offer support for others seeking recovery. It also provides a safe space for people to seek treatment and support. For more information, please visit their website.

In short, the general idea then (and now!) aimed at helping communities to reach out to the public for help. The goal was to seek and provide answers that might end the stigma associated with alcohol abuse. 

Consider an Alcohol-Free Weekend for National Alcohol Awareness Month

An important aspect of this awareness month is the "Alcohol-Free Weekend," typically held in the beginning of the month. During this time, individuals and families are encouraged to abstain from alcohol for 72 hours while seeking help if needed. This event highlights the importance of self-reflection and providing support for those struggling with alcohol addiction. This type of awareness exercise can, of course, be practiced any time of year.

The Dangers of Drinking Near Water

Enjoying water activities can be a fun and refreshing way to spend time, especially during warmer months. However, combining alcohol with water activities can be extremely dangerous. Alcohol can impair judgment, coordination, and reaction time, which can increase the risk of accidents and drowning.

Here are some reasons to avoid drinking near water:

Impaired Judgment

As we’ve written about in the past, alcohol and water do not mix. Alcohol affects the brain, impairing judgment and decision-making abilities. When near water, impaired judgment can lead to risky behaviors such as swimming in dangerous areas or overestimating one's swimming abilities.

Decreased Coordination

Coordination is essential for safe movement in and around water. Alcohol disrupts coordination, making it difficult to navigate slippery surfaces or respond effectively to sudden changes in the water environment.

Slowed Reaction Time 

In emergencies, every second counts. Alcohol slows down reaction time, making it harder to react quickly to hazards such as strong currents or sudden changes in water depth.

Increased Risk of Accidents 

Whether boating, swimming or simply hanging out near the water, alcohol increases the chances of accidents and injuries. Boating under the influence is illegal and significantly increases the risk of collisions and fatalities. 

Staying Safe Near Water

As we observe National Alcohol Awareness Month, here are a few tips to help keep everyone a bit safer:

Always Limit Your Alcohol Consumption

If you choose to drink, do so responsibly and in moderation. Keep track of how much you're consuming and know your limits. As we've already mentioned, be especially wary when near the water.

Designate a Sober Supervisor 

When near water, designate a sober individual to supervise and be sure of everyone's safety. This active supervisor should remain vigilant and capable of responding to emergencies.

Wear a Life Jacket

Whether swimming, boating, or participating in water sports, always wear a properly fitted life jacket, especially if alcohol is involved. This gear can save lives in the event of an accident or sudden plunge into water.

Always Recognize Your Limits

Be honest with yourself about your swimming abilities and avoid taking unnecessary risks, especially when under the influence of alcohol.

Be Sure to Seek Help if Needed

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, seek help from healthcare professionals or support groups. You're not alone, and there are resources available to assist you on the path to recovery.

As we raise awareness about alcohol addiction this month, let's also remember to prioritize safety, especially when enjoying activities near water. By staying informed and making responsible choices, we can create a safer environment for ourselves and others.