Safety and Substance Abuse on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is approaching, and many people are planning to celebrate by wearing lots of green, eating delicious food, and consuming a startling amount of alcohol.

Binge drinking is very common on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, it is one of the leading days of alcohol consumption in the county. Binge drinking is defined as more than 5 drinks by men or more than 4 drinks for women in two hours. This increased consumption leads to serious health and behavior consequences.

Binge drinking doesn’t necessarily mean that a person is an alcoholic, but can lead to alcohol dependency. And according to Dr. Thomas Frieden of the Center for Disease Control, binge drinking accounts for the most deaths from alcohol. Binge drinking can also lead to poor decision making including acting impulsively, engaging in high-risk behaviors and engaging in physical violence.

In addition, regular binge drinking can also lead to other health-related issues:

  • Liver disease
  • Brain damage
  • Heart problems
  • Infertility
  • Cancer
  • Stroke

The Salvation Army encourages revelers to celebrate the holiday safely by identifying a designated driver or arranging for transportation via trains, taxis, or Lyft.

Did you know…

  • An alcohol-related crash claims a life every 46 minutes on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • 75% of drivers involved In DUI crashes on St. Patrick’s Day are over the legal limit.

Before you head out, make a plan to be safe.

  • Set a limit of what and how much you will eat and drink.
  • Eat food and drink non-alcoholic beverages regularly.
  • Maintain contact with family and friends – nobody leaves alone or with a stranger.

If you are concerned about your or a loved one’s drinking and want information about treatment programs, visit or call 312-667-2200.

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