BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 16, 2019 /HalcyonTV/ -- Many of us look forward to celebrations during the holidays, yet it is also a time when some people are more likely to drink beyond their limits than at other times of the year. Some will suffer adverse consequences that range from fights to falls to traffic crashes. Sadly, we often put ourselves and others at risk because we don't understand how alcohol affects us during an evening of celebratory drinking.
Despite the potential dangers, myths about drinking persist, which—for some—can prove fatal. Scientific studies supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism provide important information that challenges these widespread, yet incorrect, beliefs about how quickly alcohol affects the body and how long the effects of drinking last.
Alcohol's Effects Begin Quickly, Before You Know It!
Holiday revelers may not recognize that critical decision-making abilities and driving-related skills are already diminished long before a person shows overt signs of intoxication.
Initially, alcohol may appear to act as a stimulant, so people who drink may feel upbeat and excited. But don't be fooled. Alcohol decreases inhibitions and judgment, and can lead to reckless decisions.
As we consume more alcohol, reaction times get longer and behavior becomes poorly controlled and sometimes even aggressive—leading to fights and other types of violence. Continued drinking causes the slurred speech and loss of balance that we typically associate with being drunk.
Alcohol can also cause blackouts—which are gaps in a person's memory while they were intoxicated. These gaps happen when a person drinks enough alcohol to temporarily block the transfer of memories from short-term to long-term storage—known as memory consolidation—in a brain area called the hippocampus. At higher blood alcohol concentration levels, alcohol acts as a clear depressant, which can cause people who drink to pass out if the dose is high enough. At even higher levels, people who drink face the danger of life-threatening alcohol overdose due to the suppression of vital life functions.
Even When Drinking Stops—Alcohol's Effects Do Not Stop
During an evening of drinking, it's also easy to misjudge how long alcohol's effects last. For example, many people believe that they will begin to sober up—and be able to drive safely—once they stop drinking and have a cup of coffee. The truth is that alcohol continues to affect the brain and body long after the last drink has been finished. Even after someone stops drinking, alcohol in the stomach and intestine continues to enter the bloodstream, resulting in impaired judgment and coordination for hours.
Before You Celebrate—Plan Ahead
Of course, we don't intend to harm anyone when we celebrate during the holiday season. Yet, violence and traffic fatalities associated with alcohol misuse persist, and myths about drinking live on—even though scientific studies have documented how alcohol affects the brain and body.
Because individuals differ, the specific effects of alcohol on an individual will vary. But certain facts are clear—there's no way to make good decisions when you are intoxicated and there's no way to sober up faster.
So, this holiday season, do not underestimate the effects of alcohol. Don't believe you can beat them, or they may beat you.
Here are some tips to keep in mind if you host a holiday gathering:
Myth: Drink coffee. Caffeine will sober you up.
Fact: Caffeine may help with drowsiness but not with the effects of alcohol on decision-making or coordination. The body needs time to metabolize (break down) alcohol and then to return to normal. Also, when caffeine wears off, your body will need to deal with post-caffeine sleepiness, which adds to alcohol-induced sleepiness. There are no quick cures—only time will help.
Myth: You can drive as long as you are not slurring your words or acting erratically.
Fact: The coordination needed for driving is compromised long before you show signs of intoxication and your reaction time is slowed. Plus, the sedative effects of alcohol increase your risk of nodding off or losing attention behind the wheel.
Myth: The warm feeling you get from drinking alcohol insulates you from the cold of winter. When you're drinking, there's no need to wear a coat when it's cold outside.
Fact: Alcohol widens the tiny blood vessels right under the skin, so they quickly fill with warm blood. This makes you feel warm or hot, and can cause your skin to flush and perspire. But your body temperature is actually dropping, because while alcohol is pulling warmth from your body's core to the skin surface, it is also depressing the area of your brain that controls temperature regulation. In cold environments, this can lead to hypothermia. So, wear a coat when it's cold outside, particularly if you are drinking alcohol.
Have a safe holiday season!
For more information on celebrating your holidays safely and tips for cutting back, please visit: https://www.RethinkingDrinking.niaaa.nih.gov
Looking for Stress-Free Holiday Dining? Denny's Has Guests Covered with Delicious Family-Style Meals to Enjoy at Home or in the Diner
In addition to being open on Christmas Day, Denny's is offering a family-style turkey dinners for guests to order in advance and carry-out to enjoy at home
SPARTANBURG, S.C., Dec. 16, 2019 /HalcyonTV/ -- If your one wish this year is a seamless holiday dinner with the family, then Denny's has you covered whether you are hosting at home or looking to reconnect over dinner in a signature red booth. To celebrate the holidays, Denny's is offering a family-style Turkey & Dressing Dinner Pack, providing guests with a carry-out dining option for a stress-free holiday dinner at home. The new meals are made with the same high-quality, flavorful food that guests have come to expect from Denny's without blowing your holiday budget.
Beginning Wednesday, December 18, and concluding on Tuesday, December 24, customers can order the dinner pack online at Dennys.com, which comfortably feeds four guests.* Each dinner pack is prepared ready to heat and serve and features delicious holiday staples: tender carved turkey breast, savory stuffing, turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, red-skinned mashed potatoes and one additional side. Guests can pick up their orders from Thursday, December 19, until Wednesday, December 25.
Want to skip the cooking all together? Denny's locations nationwide are welcoming guests Christmas Day and New Year's Day and will offer delivery via Denny's on Demand.
"At Denny's, it's important to us that guests feel like family. During such a meaningful time as the holidays, Denny's welcomes guests to share a Christmas dinner with us or enjoy one of our festive holiday meals at home with their loved ones," said John Dillon, chief brand officer for Denny's.
For more information and locations, and to order Denny's on Demand, please visit www.dennys.com.
*Turkey & Dressing Dinner Packs must be ordered online at least 24 hours before the desired pickup time. This special dining option is not available for dine-in and is offered at participating Denny's locations for a limited time.
Dunkin' Brings Back Beloved Girl Scout Cookie™ Inspired Coffee Flavors: Coconut Caramel and Thin Mints®
Girls will flex entrepreneurship skills by running Girl Scout Cookie booths at select Dunkin' restaurants across the country
CANTON, Mass., Dec. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Dunkin' is ringing in the New Year with the return of two popular coffee flavors inspired by iconic Girl Scout Cookies. Since 2018, Dunkin' has featured Girl Scout Cookie inspired coffees on its menu for limited time promotions in celebration of Girl Scout Cookie season, which kicks off nationally in January.
Under a licensing agreement with GSUSA, Dunkin' will bring back Coconut Caramel and Thin Mints® inspired coffee flavors. The delicious duo of flavors will be available January 1 through the beginning of spring 2020 at participating Dunkin' restaurants nationwide.
The Thin Mints coffee flavor features the classic cookie's combination of cool mint and decadent chocolate, while the Coconut Caramel coffee flavor features toasted coconut and creamy caramel. Guests can enjoy the Coconut Caramel and Thin Mints coffee flavors as part of the brand's handcrafted espresso experience, with state-of-the-art espresso equipment for optimal espresso bean extraction and a new recipe for a stronger and more robust flavor profile. Both are also available in Dunkin's full lineup of hot and iced coffee, Cold Brew, frozen coffee and frozen chocolate.
To help support local Girl Scout troops and encourage the next generation of female entrepreneurs and business leaders, Dunkin' franchisees will once again welcome Girl Scouts participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program® to select Dunkin' locations across the country to sell their signature Girl Scout Cookies. Visit www.girlscoutcookies.org for more information on the Girl Scout Cookie Program, including when and where Girl Scouts in your area will be selling cookies.
The Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches girls about entrepreneurship as they have fun learning essential skills like money management, public speaking, and decision making, which set them up for a lifetime of success. And, each and every purchase stays local to power amazing experiences and leadership opportunities for girls in communities across the United States, including travel, outdoor adventure, and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programming.
"Girl Scout Cookie season is as welcomed and anticipated as the ball dropping on New Year's Eve, and we're thrilled to celebrate by bringing two smile-eliciting Girl Scout Cookie inspired flavors back to guests' coffees in 2020," said Patty Healy, Dunkin's Senior Director of Integrated Marketing. "We are proud to support Girl Scouts of the USA's mission to build the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders, as it's the leadership and entrepreneurialism of small business owners that has fueled the success of our own brand, too. We are especially proud that our franchisees are committed to fueling the entrepreneurial spirit of the Girl Scouts by welcoming local troops to sell cookies at their restaurants," Healy added.
"We are grateful to Dunkin' for sharing our signature flavors with a larger audience and opening their doors to Girl Scout entrepreneurs again this cookie season," said Barry Horowitz, GSUSA Chief Revenue Officer. "Each cookie purchase is an investment in girl leaders of today and the future, and girls learn imperative entrepreneurship skills through each sale. Dunkin' is making it possible for more girls to have fun and impactful experiences through the Girl Scout Cookie Program."
Dunkin' is serving the coffee flavors under a license from Girl Scouts of the USA. Visit www.girlscoutcookies.org for more information on the Girl Scout Cookie Program, including when and where Girl Scouts in your area will be selling cookies.
To learn more about Dunkin', visit www.DunkinDonuts.com or subscribe to the Dunkin' blog to receive notifications at https://news.dunkindonuts.com/blog.
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