More Than Just Christmas Spirits On The Rise

With Christmas coming up, many people look forward to the Holiday Season. It’s felt as the time of year for get-togethers between friends, reunions for family members who haven’t seen each other in a long time and break time for those in school or college. And of course, Let’s not forget that it’s also that time of year when stores offer some of the biggest deals for your business, partaking in the hectic ritual of scurrying around for all those hard-to-find gifts for those hard-to-shop-for-people, and all that goes with planning the Christmas Feast that will be held at your already crowded house. All this mixed together causes what is known as the “Holiday Rush”. This also causes quite a bit of stress on people. This is a tough job, but how a person handles it could be even tougher.

The time period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s is when people who suffer from an addiction usually try to hide their problem from friends and family. All that extra work while going through a craving can add more stress causing compulsive behavior. If a family has a combustible history at family gatherings, on top of what the addict is already going through; this could end up messier than anyone anticipated. During the November to January holiday period, substance abuse problems rise steadily that not only affect individuals and families but also have a major impact on public health and welfare. Studies show that depression, drunk driving accidents, suicide, even domestic violence all increase during the holiday period by people who are trying to cope with holiday stress using alcohol and/or drugs.

The day before Thanksgiving is known as “Black Wednesday” in certain circles because it’s one of the biggest partying nights of the year. The National Health Institute estimates that, on average, there are around 10.8 million underage drinkers on that day alone. It doesn’t stop there, according to Nielsen reports, alcohol consumption increases dramatically during the month of December in the week leading up to New Year’s Day. There is approximately a 25 percent increase in alcohol-related traffic incidents, which is one reason why President Barack Obama has declared December as “National Impaired Driving Prevention Month”.

Christmas and New Years will be here before you know. With them come Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties. At many of these parties, drugs and alcohol are there waiting. Did you know that just over 80% of adults say that underage drinking and driving is a problem? However, a new study shows that one in five parents think that providing alcohol and/or drugs to teens is okay, as long as the youth are supervised and stay put. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that among high school students. during the Holiday Season:

  • 39% drank some amount of alcohol.
  • 22% binge drank.
  • 8% drove after drinking alcohol.
  • 24% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.

In another study done by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (NCASA), they found nearly one-third of teens (29%) say they have been left home alone overnight, including 17% of 12-13 years old, 27% of 14-15 years old, and 42% of 16-17 years old. When compared to teens who are never home alone overnight without adult supervision, those who are left home alone overnight without adult supervision are:

  • Twice as likely to have used Marijuana – 23% VS 11%.
  • Nearly twice as likely to have used alcohol – 41% VS 21%.
  • Nearly three times likelier to have used tobacco – 20% VS 7%.

With this information, perhaps more businesses should test their employees for drugs and alcohol more often during the Christmas Season to New Years Day, considering that’s when more accidents occur. Depending on your drug and alcohol testing policies, our suggestion to you is to consider enacting a random alcohol and drug test policy. How you do that is up to you, but it is highly recommended, especially for this time of year. Not only are you saving yourself from headaches and hassles, but you are also helping everyone else. Think of it as “Preventative Maintenance”.

Two things that should be coming down this Christmas Season: Snow and Stock Inventory. Don’t let drugs and alcohol abuse bring down your Christmas Spirit. Stay on top of it and just remember: You are not alone! Stress plays a huge part during this time of year for everyone. If you feel you need to do something about it, try stepping back and take a few deep breaths. You should also know that Rapid Detect, INC is here to help you with all your drug and alcohol testing needs.