Every year drunken-driving-related accidents and deaths have been reported to be high during the New Year’s Eve. Despite all the measures and awareness campaigns there seems to be no change in the pattern. According to the police authorities every year around the New Year eve they report at least five to six deaths due to road accidents. Driving under the influence of alcohol is said to be one of the major causes. As the New Year ushers in yet again, it is definitely a time to enjoy and be merry, but at the same time, it is always better to follow certain precautions in order to prevent any mishaps. Dr NK Venkataramana, Founder Chairman & Chief Neurosurgeon, Brains Hospital, Bangalore explains how alcohol affects the brain and few tips on safety measures to be taken up as one celebrates the New Year eve. Road Accidents in India: 17 Die Every Hour, 29 Children Each Day; 413 Fatalities Daily.
Though India has a specific calendar for the New Year traditionally, the entire country joins the globe to welcome the New Year or January 1st. It is generally done as a celebration wherein people go out, meet friends, cheer and celebrate in different forms. Of all, one of the major components of the celebration is drinking of alcohol. It has become a habit and custom more than the requirement. In the bargain, people do come together only to drink. Drinks and dinner are heavily advertised in the season luring all age-group, particularly youth. Thus, New Year has become a business for all the clubs, hotels and the hospitality industry. Whereas for the hospitals, police and security services it is often a nightmare.
The brain is very sensitive to alcohol. At the initial stages, people feel happy and when the level of alcohol increases there is an uncontrollable excitement, lack of inhibition, lack of judgement, lack of physical balance and losing all the faculties of the brain temporarily. During this phase, people are prone to committing errors leading to accidents, misjudgements, misbehaviour and various forms of violence. Binge drinking can also produce severe effects on the brain like convulsions, brain haemorrhage or a brain stroke.
Eventually, the entire event becomes pathetic leading to various catastrophes, most notably road accidents. For the family, it can be an irreparable shock and eternal loss. So it is necessary one must celebrate with happiness but at the same time not succumbing to the pressure of alcohol or drugs.
Safety tips for new year's eve by Dr NK Venkataramana -
- There should be a collective initiative fundamentally by families not to allow children to go out especially on two-wheelers.
- People can gather and celebrate and stay there until they become normal.
- Avoid drunken driving and take all precautionary measures.
- If anyone wants to drink, stay at home and drink to the glory.
It is absolutely right to celebrate and give farewell to the old year and usher in the New Year with hope, faith and fervour. The entire celebration should become a memorable event to cherish for the rest of the year. One should invite the New Year with new hope, new enthusiasm and new ways of bettering the lives to grow to newer heights at an individual, societal and national level. Perhaps this is the goal and the concept hidden behind the celebration. But unfortunately binged drinking is causing a phenomenal amount of damage in terms of violence, road accidents leading to injuries, death as well as disabilities. Quite often youth is being inducted into the habit of alcoholism.