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Your Guide to A Happy, Safe and Sober Saint Patrick’s Day

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 17, 2017 8:29:05 AM / by RU Texas posted in Recovery, Alcohol Treatment, Alcohol Addiction, Saint Patrick's Day

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Although Saint Patrick’s Day is holiday which celebrates Irish culture and spirituality, it has become an occasion that transcends cultural parameters, particularly here in the United States. For those in the recovery community, however, it can also be one of those days the reality of recover must be reinforced and they’re put face-to-face with the reality that world drinks even though they don’t. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the St. Patrick's Day weekend in 2013, more than a third (40%) of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. In 2013, there were 31 people killed in drunk-driving crashes on St. Patrick's Day.

How, then, do we insulate ourselves from prospect of relapse during one of the heaviest drinking days of the year? The truth is that only we can assess our readiness to be around alcohol during our recovery, but there are some stop-gap mechanisms to put a little more distance between us and a mistake that could derail our recovery. Be sure keep your sponsor on speed-dial, or at least someone close to you who understands your vulnerability to alcohol, and is in a position to help you. If you have to leave a party early and can’t access a ride home from someone you care about, there are a variety of car services at your disposal these days.

It may very well be that you’ll have to sit this St. Patrick’s Day out and just declare the best intentions for next year. Anyone who understands what you’re going through will undoubtedly want you to put your recovery first before one night of fun. The most important thing is keep your recovery intact. Recovery Unplugged wishes all of our alumni and their families a safe, happy and sober Saint Patrick’s Day. May nothing but happiness come through your door.

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Alcoholism in Texas by the Numbers

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 23, 2016 9:31:14 AM / by RU Texas posted in Recovery, Alcohol Treatment, Alcoholism, Alcohol Addiction, Drunk-Driving

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There’s no question about it: Texas likes to drink, and they sit right alongside the rest of the country in that preference. Despite increasing shifting media and political attention to opioids in the heroin in the wake of thousands of deaths per year, alcohol continues to be the most dominant addiction threat in the country. Each year, nearly 88,000 Americans dies from alcohol-related causes. In 2014, there were nearly 10,000 alcohol-related driving deaths, accounting for 31 percent of overall motor vehicle fatalities nationwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 19,388 deaths from alcoholic liver disease and 30,722 deaths from alcohol-related health issues, excluding accidents and homicides, in 2015.

Through its ongoing battle with statewide alcohol abuse, Texas has lost many residents, suffered needless yet crushing financial burden, and has seen the deterioration of families and communities. The following figures alcohol’s impact on the state last year alone:

  • Drunk driving fatalities (.08 BAC or higher): 1323 representing 0.38% of all total traffic deaths, an 8.5% decrease from last year.
  • Alcohol related crash injuries (.01 BAC or higher): 15,687
  • Alcohol related crashes (.01 BAC or higher): 25,479
  • DUI arrests: 64,971
  • DUI convictions: 71,030
  • Taxpayer subsidy of drunk driving fatalities: $6.2 billion

Though the state has many strict laws for DUI offenders, legal enforcement is only half of the formula for successful prevention. Community involvement, ancillary education programs and general awareness can go a long way in curbing the problem in our own personal lives as well as in the broader world around us. The victim-count of alcohol-related deaths includes our friends, family, neighbors and colleagues and goes way beyond one person drinking themselves into sickness. Thus, it is incumbent upon all of us, in Texas and the United States, to combat alcohol abuse whenever we see it threaten our family, relationships or communities.

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