Alcoholic Beverages Especially Dangerous During Record Heat Wave

by AdamS on July 11, 2012

The heat wave that lasted almost 2 weeks across the nation’s Corn Belt, is finally over.  All totaling there were at least 46 deaths attributed to the record setting heat wave which lasted from June 28th through July 8th.  One way to stay cool during the intense heat was to cool down with ice cold drinks.  Those that drank alcohol however, felt the effects of the heat even worse.  Many needed to be checked into inpatient alcohol treatment facilities for abusing the chemical and suffering heat related illnesses.  The residential rehab offered at these facilities likely saved a few lives during the historic heat wave.  Check out for information on treatment facilities.

Drinking in the Sun

Heat by itself can be a potentially deadly adversary, however when combined with the effects of alcohol the risk of illness and death increase significantly.    Diuretics such as alcohol or even caffeine should be avoided as much as possible when drinking in the sun as they cause the body to become more dehydrated.  The dehydration leads to more adverse effects on the body, such as headaches and cramps.  Alcohol is especially dangerous because it can cause the person to pass out and sleep for hours without rehydrating which can cause the body to completely shut down

Tips for Preventing Heat-Illness

First, it is important to know what heat illness is and the symptoms associated with it.  Symptoms include heart racing, dry skin, dizziness, fainting, muscle cramps, and heavy breathing.  These are all problematic symptoms of being exposed to too much heat for a long period of time.  A good way to prevent these is to block the sun by using hats or an umbrella, drinking plenty of cold water or sports drinks, wearing lightweight, light colored and loose-fitting clothing as well as avoiding alcohol, caffeine and any super fatty foods while in the heat.


If the heat illness has already taken effect, there are ways to fight the symptoms.  The best way is to get the individual out of the heat and begin to cool them down using cold compresses or wrapping them in cool, wet towels.  Cold compresses can be applied to the individual’s neck, forehead and groin in order for the blood to cool down faster.   Submerging them in cool water is also effective, however if the water is too cold, this can be counterproductive causing shock to their system and creating more harm than good.

As the days begin to get longer and hotter in July, August, and September, it is really important that people pay more attention to their actions in the sun.  This latest heat wave has been responsible for too many deaths to not take notice.  As more people start to go out boating and drinking on the beach it is important to remember that dehydration can be deadly.  More people should consider checking into inpatient alcohol treatment facilities in the summer, if they are struggling with alcoholism.  The residential rehab services offered at these facilities will greatly improve their chances of getting sober and remaining safe through these hot summer months. Check out for info about residential rehab.

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