UNMC: Drink wisely this holiday season

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)– Alcohol sales spike 250-percent nationally near the major holidays, according to the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  Lincoln liquor stores tell us the impact isn’t quite as big, they’re still working to get back up to pre-pandemic numbers.  The message is still the same – drink wisely.

Dr. Ken Zoucha, UNMC Addiction Medicine Director in the Department of Psychiatry said when used in moderation, alcohol can ease tension and even help people feel more relaxed around the holidays.

Dr. Zoucha said people should understand how much alcohol is in a drink, pace themselves to one drink per hour, and have food in their stomach to reduce the amount of alcohol that gets absorbed.

He recommends choosing a designated driver in advance.  It should be a person who isn’t drinking at all, not the person who drinks the least.

“Reaction time, judgment, spacial awareness all start being affected before we feel the effects of alcohol. So even though you might not be feeling it your ability to drive can still be impaired as a result of that,” Dr. Zoucha said.

Another myth is that alcohol causes you to be warm so you don’t need a coat.  Hypothermia is a risk when you’ve been drinking.  Alcohol affects the temperature regulator in your brain and decreases your body temperature.

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