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How Weather Can Affect the Severity of Alcohol

How Weather Can Affect the Severity of Alcohol

If you are too hot or too cold and you are drinking, you will not be aware of your own body’s temperature. This can cause you to develop a lot of health problems whether it is heat stroke from being in the sun for too long or you freeze to death. It is important that you control your alcohol intake to avoid letting the weather negatively affect your body.

When it gets cold outside and it is a special occasion like going to a football game or a New Year’s Eve party, you may feel the need to drink alcohol to have more fun. You may also feel like if you drink alcohol, it will help warm you up. The truth is that alcohol is not a wise choice in a beverage if you are looking to keep warm. Alcohol dilates your blood vessels which will make you susceptible to fainting or passing out. It can also lead to heat loss to the body temperature in your lower core. This can also prevent your body from shivering which is how your body combats exposure to cold weather and lets you know when it is freezing. If you convince yourself that you are warm, that will mean that you will neglect to wear gloves, warm clothes, and there is a chance that you will pass out in the snow which can lead to hypothermia or frostbite.

The University of Pittsburgh did a study where they collected large data sets comparing the average temperature and sunlight hours with the average alcohol consumption per person as well as the percentage of drinkers in a population. What they discovered was that 13.9 liters of alcohol are consumed a year in the Ukraine whereas Italians only drink 6.7 liters a year. In Montana, 11.7 liters of alcohol are drunk every year compared to in North Carolina where they drink 7.8 liters a year. This shows how colder climates are more likely to consume large amounts of alcohol compared to warmer climates. If you live in an area where there is not a lot of sun and gets darker longer, you can end up with depression and can be more isolated when living in snowy climates. People with depression tend to drink their sorrows away with alcohol consumption without realizing that it will only intensify those feelings more.

If you feel the need to drink alcohol and you live in a cold climate, you need to take extra precautions before you drink. For example, make sure to wear warm clothing instead of assuming that the alcohol will warm you up to the point where you do not have to worry about your clothes. You should also alternate between alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks. If you dehydrate yourself, then you will feel the need to drink more alcohol so that you are not thirsty. If you start off with a non-alcoholic drink like water or a sports drink, you will not have that problem. Be aware of your surroundings in that if it is a snowy winter outside with a lot of snow falling down, go inside next to a fireplace or raise the heat in your house. You should also make sure that you have a sober friend with you to make sure that you are not out in the cold by yourself and to prevent you from drinking so much.

Drinking too much alcohol in the sun can also be bad for you as well. People drink a lot of alcohol when it is too hot out as a way to hydrate yourself. If you drink too much, this will mean that you will be out in the sun for too long. This can cause you to suffer heat exhaustion where you can develop cramps, swelling in the legs, weakness, and fainting. This can occur from not drinking enough water. You can also get heat cramps if you do not have essential water and sodium in your body. The final phase can be heat stroke from shock and can develop organ failure. Because you are consumed with so much alcohol, you may forget to drink water and not realize how hot you are until you feel really sick.

Alcohol can also cause you to commit reckless behavior since you feel more confident, braver, and lose your inhibitions when you are under the influence. The summer is full of high-active activities like biking, hiking, and boating. You could end up seriously hurting yourself doing these activities while under the influence. Swimming can also be very dangerous too as you will lack the concentration and energy to keep yourself afloat or you can pass out in the water, leading to drowning. Being under the influence can also mean forgetting to reapply sunscreen which can lead to massive burns from the sun as well as risking your chances of skin cancer. You should put your sunscreen near the cooler or make a phone timer for all of the moments where you need to reapply it.

The same rules for colder climates should apply to hot climates in that you need to go back inside if it is too hot out. You should also have a friend with you to remind you when it is time to go back inside. Always drink water when you are tackling the weather to avoid any negative bodily consequences.

Established in 1939, High Watch is the world’s first 12-Step treatment center. Every individual who walks through our doors joins a definitive culture of compassion, dignity, and respect from a genuinely caring staff dedicated to seeing the disease of addiction find remission. Providing proven therapeutic approaches and comprehensive 12-Step education, patients leave High Watch with the confidence to maintain abstinence and live a healthy, happy, sober life. Start your journey today by calling 860.927.3772.

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