Summer is a great time to socialise with family and friends in the sun, whether a trip to the local beach, a barbecue, or heading down to your local pub.
However, the addiction specialists have warned people across the UK, as we face scorching temperatures, to be extra cautious as the sun and alcohol are a dangerous mix.
Addiction specialists at Private Rehab Clinic Delamere explain: ‘As the UK is facing yet another wave of hot weather, individuals need to be extra vigilant when consuming alcoholic beverages. It’s important to drink responsibly and avoid overindulging, as fun in the sun can turn hazardous when alcohol is involved.’
One of the biggest risks of drinking outside during summer is dehydration. One of the many side effects of alcohol is dehydration. Alcohol removes fluids from your blood through the renal system, which includes the kidneys, ureters and bladder, much more quickly than other liquids. However, dehydration becomes an even bigger problem in the sun.
When the weather is hot outside, our body attempts to cool down through sweating, meaning we lose more fluid. If this fluid isn’t replaced, it can lead to dangerous levels of dehydration. Signs of dehydration include dizziness, fatigue, thirst, and dry mouth, lips and eyes.
If you start to display signs of dehydration, it’s important to replenish the fluid levels in your body by drinking water or sports drinks. If your symptoms do not improve, it’s important to seek medical treatment as it can develop into a serious problem.
Another common issue with mixing alcohol and hot weather is sunburn. Studies have in fact proven that an individual’s skin becomes more vulnerable and sensitive to the sun after consuming alcohol. The research shows that the amount of UV it took to burn the individual’s skin was a lot less than without consuming alcohol.
Additionally, when someone overindulges in alcohol, their ability to make decisions reduces significantly. This means they are more likely to forget to reapply sunscreen, increasing the chances of burning their skin and causing sun damage.
Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat illness and is caused by the body overheating, typically due to exposure to high temperatures. Heat stroke occurs when the body cannot regulate its temperature, causing an increased heart rate, rapid breathing, nausea, high body temperature, headaches, and altered mental behaviour.
Alcohol can increase the chances of heatstroke, this is because when the body starts to overheat, it cools itself down by sweating. Alcohol can reduce the amount of sweat we produce, thus making it harder for the body to cool down; this can cause your body temperature to rise to extremely dangerous levels, causing heat stroke.
If you think someone is experiencing heat stroke, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately.
Whether it’s a trip to the beach, your local lake, or just taking a dip in your inflatable outdoor pool, when the weather is hot, it’s important to be extra cautious around water, especially when alcohol is involved.
Alcohol weakens the nerves that control involuntary actions, like breathing and the gag reflex. This makes swimming and being around water extremely dangerous, as it increases the risk of drowning if you start to struggle in the water.
Drinking alcohol also makes decision-making harder for individuals, increasing the risk of water-related accidents.