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Alcohol Detox Could Reduce Florida Traffic Fatalities
Think, for just a moment, what the Florida state health department would do if 1,004 people suddenly died across the state from an influenza epidemic.
That’s way, WAY more than all the deaths from the recent H1N1 flu epidemic in Florida.
Yet the flu epidemic drove state (and federal) health agencies into a frenzy, captured the news media for months on end, and scared the dickens out of almost everyone. In all, something like 2,500 Americans died from the flu last year.
So we must ask a question: Is the recent news about Florida’s decreasing drunk driving statistics actually “good news”? Because alcohol abuse continues at epidemic levels in Florida.
Yes, alcohol-related traffic fatalities fell by 14 percent between 2008 and 2009, from 1,169 to 1,004. And reductions have been seen for the past several years.
On the face of it, statistics are improving.
But let’s look deeper: The 1,004 people who were killed on Florida roads and highways, just last year alone, are 1,004 moms and dads, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and best friends—all tragically dead before their time.
And they’re all dead because of alcohol abuse, and Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
In Florida, that means 1,004 shattered families—and those are just last year’s families, we’ve had over a thousand a year for decades—aren’t feeling all tingly about the bettering traffic fatality statistics.
Florida alcohol abuse traffic fatalities need to be confronted
Are the relevant authorities really doing all they can to prevent all the alcohol-fueled road deaths? Are they really paying attention?
While the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is feeling rather smug about their improved DUI fatality statistics, and health departments scurry after the next suspect virus, there’s little effective action being taken to stop the epidemic that’s killing a thousand people a year already.
Let’s look at some more statistics for 2008 — 2009:
- Alcohol-related fatalities: 1,169 (‘08), 1,004 (‘09): -14.1%
- Alcohol-related injuries: 15,736 (‘08), 14,130 (‘09), -10.2%
- Alcohol-related crashes: 22,259 (‘08), 20,085 (‘09), -9.8%
Before we get all swoony about the reducing numbers, let’s just ignore 2008, and take a look at 2009 from a fresh, new perspective
In 2009, directly caused by alcohol abuse in Florida:
- More than 1,000 people died.
- Over 14,000 were injured, some of them crippled for life.
- There were more than 20,000 alcohol-related crashes. Say that again: Twenty THOUSAND alcohol related crashes. In Florida. In one year. Think about it.
- The legal, insurance, justice, law enforcement, property damage, health care and lost productivity costs are beyond imagining.
And another thing: A 382-mile stretch of I-95 running north from Miami up the Atlantic coast is the most perilous, crash-prone highway in the entire United States.
According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were nearly two deaths for every mile on the I-95 during the years 2004 to 2008. And alcohol played a role in a significant percentage of those accidents.
Will Florida’s alcohol abuse fatalities ever end?
Alcohol carnage has been happening on America’s highways for something like 80 years. But although some kind of alcohol detox has been around for at least 50 or more years, the death rate has mostly been rising. In fact, alcohol is responsible for 40% of all traffic fatalities in the nation.
In Florida, alcohol abuse traffic fatalities have been improving, and there’s hope for continued improvement. But if it continues at the current rate until zero people are killed by a Florida drunk driver, it will still require six more years.
And in that time, 2,350 more people will have to die before we reach zero. Of course, it’s pretty unrealistic to expect us to ever get to zero.
Meanwhile, it’s the same old story. For every one of Florida’s alcohol abuse traffic deaths, someone under the influence of alcohol climbs into a vehicle, drives around in traffic, and then kills himself or herself and more often than not, someone else.
In Florida, alcohol detox could save hundreds of lives every year
Every one of these alcohol abuse traffic fatality tragedies is even more of a tragedy because something actually can be done about individual alcohol abuse.
The actual good news is this: Here in Florida, alcohol detox and long-term alcohol treatment are widely available, and if you pick the right program, you can, and will, achieve sobriety.
Every day of every week, year in and year out, you can bet that somewhere in Florida, someone is emerging into the sunshine of a new life of sobriety.
At Novus Medical Detox Center of Pasco County, Florida, our medical alcohol detox patients routinely find freedom from the bonds of alcohol abuse.
Novus medical alcohol detox is medically supervised around the clock by our caring, experienced staff. Each patient receives a health workup and is put on a nutritional support program tailored to match their precise health needs.
Furthermore, Novus alcohol detox protocols are designed to match each patient’s metabolic requirements, to maintain maximum comfort throughout the detox period.
Novus patients usually leave in less than a week, free of the craving for alcohol, and feeling a whole lot healthier and happier than when they arrived.
Not only are they off alcohol, they know they are one less potential DUI statistic, and that a new alcohol-free life awaits them.
NOTE: This information is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute (i) medical advice or counseling, (ii) the practice of medicine, health care diagnosis or treatment, or (iii) the creation of a physician patient or clinical relationship. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or that this information may be useful to you or others, please consult with your health care provider before applying any information from our articles to your personal situation or to the personal situation of others.
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