Posted by Michael Barber, July 25, 2013 (last updated on November 26, 2018)
Summer is the time for BBQ, potlucks, and other gatherings. It's also a
time when we indulge in alcohol; however, mixing alcohol with other things
may lead to a trip to an urgent care center or worse.
Mixing cocktails, including wine and beer with too much sun and heat often causes heat exhaustion or sun stroke.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion includes:
- Severe sweating
- Extreme thirst
- Coordination loss or impaired judgment
- Tingling in hands or feet
- Cool or moist skin
- Weak or rapid pulse
Sun stroke, also known as heat stroke is extremely dangerous and you may need immediate health care. Symptoms include:
- Initial symptoms of heat exhaustion
- Absence of sweating
- Flushed or red, dry skin
- Rapid pulse
- Constricted pupils
- Difficulty when breathing
- High blood pressure
- Seizure or convulsions
2. Water Sports
Many people around pools, lakes, or rivers suffer swimming accidents due to alcohol and its impairment effects.
Partaking in too much alcohol around water might offer the feeling you can make a super dive or jump or swim the width of a river when in fact, these ideas are dangerous.
Others may indulge in water sports they've never tried before. Because excessive alcohol use weakens mind clarity, it's best to avoid water super stunts if you plan on indulging.
3. Driving (and Riding)
This includes boats. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, "Alcohol use is involved in up to 70 percent of deaths associated with water recreation including driving boats." If you are captaining any type of boat or Jet Ski, avoid mixing alcohol to keep yourself and passengers safe.
The CDC also says in 2010, "Over 1.4 million drivers were arrested for DUIs." Drivers and passengers both suffer the consequences of driving under the influence. If an accident occurs, injuries from the very severe to cuts and abrasions will require immediate urgent care.
4. Hot Tubs & Jacuzzis
Summer also includes Jacuzzi or hot tub relaxation. Combining too many cocktails with hot temperatures causes dehydration, heat exhaustion, and drowning.
If you drink in a hot tub alone, you can possibly pass out, which leads to drowning and other injuries.
Those who take glass bottles into hot tubs or a Jacuzzi increase the risk of broken glass causing cuts to the feet or legs—often severe cuts that require stitches.
Lessen the need for emergency care this summer by avoiding mixing prescribed medications and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs as many don't mix well with alcohol. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the possible side effects of mixing alcohol with the drugs you take. Something as common as cold or cough medicine mixed with alcohol can cause drowsiness or dizziness.
Some prescription medications cause more severe symptoms when taken with alcohol such as pain medications, tranquilizers, antidepressants, and certain antibiotics.
Any illegal drug can not only get you arrested but when mixed with alcohol can cause overdoses or severe trauma. Severe trauma can include fainting, seizures, loss of consciousness, and vomiting.
Have fun this summer, but do so safely and responsibly!