It certainly comes as no surprise; a federal government study has concluded that the number of ER visits caused by underage drinking increase by two and a half times on New Yearâ€™s Day, according to a feature on the Los Angeles Times.
The study was conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA director Pamela Hyde was quoted in the feature: â€œThis stunning increase in underage drinking-related emergency room visits on New Year’s Day should be a wake-up call to parents, community leaders and all caring adults about the potential risks our young people face for alcohol-related accidents, injuries and death during this time of year.â€
The study was based on the 2009 Drug Abuse Warning Network report of SAMHSA, and indicated that there were almost 2,000 ER visits prompted by underage drinking on New Yearâ€™s Day 2009, as opposed to 546 on an average day of the year. The statistics showed a 263 percent increase in such incidents on New Yearâ€™s Day.
Kenneth Warren, acting director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, said: â€œThis very troubling finding is in line with what we already know about the increase in alcohol-related problems during the winter holidaysâ€¦ For example, during Christmas and New Year’s, two to three times more people die in alcohol-related crashes than during comparable periods the rest of the year. And 40 percent of traffic fatalities during these holidays involve a driver who is alcohol-impaired, compared to 28 percent for the rest of December.â€