Halloween is typically seen as the true beginning of the fall and winter holiday season. As many people know, the holidays can be a challenging time of year for some folks. Those who have family dysfunction or those who have lost loved ones are often lonely, depressed, or stressed around the holidays. Some people are stressed due to strapped financial situations and feel added pressure to spend money during the holidays. All of these pressures can lead people to abuse alcohol and other drugs when the holiday season starts up. Since Halloween is the first up, we are going to discuss some haunting facts about Halloween Alcohol Abuse and ways to keep yourself and children safe.
1. Halloween, a night when small children are out trick-or-treating, sees an increase in drunk drivers. In 2008, 58% of all driving fatalities on Halloween night involved drunk drivers. (Source)
2. Because Halloween is a social holiday for most people, there is a greater possibility of being exposed to alcohol at parties and gatherings. This can lead to an increase in drinking and subsequently impaired driving.
3. Most people do not plan ahead for safe travel on Halloween night.
MADD.org shares the stories of Jean Dyess and Jessica Fraire to help inspire people to remember the dangers of alcohol abuse on Halloween. Please read them and pass them along to your friends so that they can be more sober-minded about the upcoming holiday.
Given these scary thoughts, what are some ways you can keep yourself, your family, and any children in your care safe on Halloween? Here are 10 ideas:
1. While Trick-Or-Treating: Wear reflective clothing that is bright and easy for drivers to see.
2. While Trick-Or-Treating: Be watchful and alert while walking the streets or through neighborhood sidewalks. Carefully cross roads and always look several times before making any crossings.
3. While Trick-Or-Treating: Carry a flashlight with extra batteries so that you’ll have it for particularly dark places.
4. If attending a party, be sure you are fully aware of what sort of party it is. If there will be alcohol there and you are an adult, be sure you have a designated, SOBER driver to get you and your friends home.
5. If you are a teen attending a party, be sure you are firm and up front about your commitment to remain sober.
6. Host a safe party at your house where fun, non-alcoholic drinks and goodies will be served.
7. If you have to drive on Halloween night, be sure to drive the speed-limit and to drive cautiously, keeping your eyes open for impaired drivers. If you see someone’s driving become erratic or strange and suspect they are impaired, call 911 immediately. Always wear your seat-belt!
8. If you are trick-or-treating alone or with a group of friends, be sure your parents know exactly where you are at all times and carry your phone with you so that you can call and update them or let them know of an emergency right away.
9. Surround yourself with people you trust and who support your personal convictions about staying safe on Halloween.
10. Protect yourself and others by making a commitment not to engage in reckless behavior.
Halloween should be a fun, exciting holiday! Unfortunately, because we live in an unsafe world, it can quickly become a frightening, nightmarish night if people make the wrong choices. Follow the tips above to help protect yourself and others!
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