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Independence Day - Hospitals across America Ready for Spike in Underage Alcohol-Related Admissions

posted 01:11 PM EST, Mon July 04, 2011
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Hospital emergency rooms around the country are ready for a little extra business today, as Independence Day revelry sparks an upswing in underage drinking and all the violence and accidents that go hand in hand with summertime binge drinking .

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) underage male drinkers are about twice as likely to get hurt and wind up in an ER over the Independence Day weekend as they are during the rest of the month of July.

On a typical summer weekend, about 304 underage males will need ER treatment after excessive alcohol consumption, but over the last weekend Independence Day, that daily average more than doubled, to 622.

The most likely reasons for needing hospital treatments are alcohol poisoning, DUI traffic accidents and alcohol involved fight trauma.

Underage females, however, don’t seem more likely to need a doctor’s services over the July 4th period, an anomaly explained by Dr. Pete Delaney of the Center for Behavioral Statistics and Quality at SAMHSA as because, "The social reality is that most girls are probably not drinking as heavily as boys, and they're probably not getting into fights or even driving as much as boys."

Dr. Delaney urges parents to take responsibility for the actions of their underage children by making sure that parties where alcohol may be present are monitored by a responsible adult, and warns, “This is a high risk time for them…It only takes one time for a child to end up in the ER. And that can be devastating."


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  • Binge Drinking: Hospitals prepare for upswing in ER visits on Independence Day.
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