Alcohol use can be a fun time for most people. It can help you relax, take the edge off social situations, and be a way to socialize. There is nothing wrong with having a beer with pizza or some wine at dinner -at least, for someone who doesn’t have an alcoholic tendency who can control their drinking without any problems.
For other people, alcohol abuse can lead to serious injuries. Alcohol is one of the leading causes of accidental injuries in the United States. It is the 4th leading, preventable cause of death. And it is also among the leading causes of workplace injuries and lost time.
Most people who drink heavily will experience at least one hospital visit, or another bodily injury, that results from alcohol use. I know this to be true when I look at some of my friends’ behavior. For their sake, and out of respect, I will keep them anonymous. I will, however, relay some of the details of what happened, as I have requested and received their permission to do so.
The first example is from one of my close friends. He experienced 3 bad injuries that can be easily attributed to alcohol. The first was a broken back, when he jumped off a sand-pit on a dare while intoxicated. He was lucky that he healed from it and faces very little side-effects to this day.
The next was a fall down a stairwell where he broke his knee. Once again, he had been drinking heavily. The third injury was to his head, where he had to have multiple stitches. These only include hospital visits, too: he also recounted many other small injuries that were easily fixed with a Band-Aid or some tape.
The 2nd example is sadly, more egregious: a friend from high school was drunk and decided to drive home. He thought it would be fun to race another guy on the highway, and ended up colliding with them. They fled the scene and were never caught, but he rolled his car.
He didn’t have a seatbelt and went out the window. The impact killed him instantly. Prior to this, the last time we spoke, he had been mentioning that he liked the idea of drinking less but he didn’t feel ready to make a commitment. He was in his early 20’s.
The final example is a personal story: I was 18 and went to see a concert at a small club in CT. I got loaded before the show, and my roommate drove down with 3 of us in his Chevy Blazer. I don’t recall a lot of this show, but from what I remember, I got rowdy during an AC/DC cover song.
I apparently annoyed some people there, and the next thing I knew, I was on the ground, being kicked by anywhere from 4-7 people. Luckily, I was drunk so didn’t feel it. I got up and wanted to hit the first person I saw who “attacked” me, but I was too intoxicated to remember.
I woke up the next day and was unable to walk. I was curled over and had to call out of walk. I spent the next week in pain and hardly able to move about. Suffice to say, if I had not been drinking that heavily, I would never have been injured.
These are just a few drinking injury stories I have from my own experience. I’ve seen countless others in the news, or at work, or through tales of sorrow in a bar, restaurant, or other social occasion.