The Realities of Drinking and Drug Driving
By Sherry Myers
December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The word impaired includes both drinking and drug driving. With statistics going up, there is more awareness of the dangers of driving while drugging. Let’s look at some statistics on the subject. At the time of this writing, there have been 27,574 deaths from impaired driving accidents so far in 2015. The holidays with the most drug and drunk driving are New Year’s and Independence Day. The holiday with the least is Christmas. The top five states with impaired driving are: #5 Louisiana, #4 Nebraska, #3 Massachusetts, #2 Delaware and #1 North Dakota. The most common age is 21 to 24.
So, what are some of the reasons that lead people into feeling the need to drink or use drugs? The Jennifer Act lists 9 reasons as follows: 1) To ease suffering. 2) Watching family, friends, role models and entertainers use. 3) Boredom. 4) Stress Relief. 5) It’s prescribed by a doctor, so they think it is o.k. 6) Physically injured and unintentionally become hooked. 7) To cover painful memories. 8) To fit in. 9) Chasing the high they once had. In one survey the top reason people stated they used drugs was peer pressure.
As parents, we can help our children to avoid falling into addictive traps by affirming them and supporting them in their gifts and talents. Showering them with love and wisdom will have great dividends as they walk into the challenges of life.
Remember that the best policy is always to Just Say No! But if you decide to have a few drinks, have a plan in place. Have a ride lined up from a friend, loved one or taxi. Make it a stay in night with a sleepover for your friends so they don’t have to drive. Have a signed contract with family that you will contact them if you drink/drug and they will pick you up. Your first Uber ride is free up to $20 using the DrinkingAndDriving.Org code DD4ME. Some valuable resources are available at http://www.drinkinganddriving.org/tools/.
As an individual struggling with addiction there are many helps available. Addiction counselors are available for in and outpatient care. Help can be obtained from Cheryl Ciambotti with Perhaps Today Ministries. Families with addicted loved ones that are resistant to treatment can get help at Restorative Interventions by contacting Angela Jakubowski at 717-329-0578 or by going online at restorativeinterventions.com.