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Health and Fitness

Keep What You Earned This Memorial Day

Pledge to Drink Responsibly This Summer

Memorial Day officially kicks off the summer season, it is a good time to discuss the dangers of over-consumption of alcohol, and the importance of taking a few simple steps like planning ahead for a safe ride home to keep what you've earned.

Every year as Memorial Day approaches, Navy installations across the world host Safety Standdowns with their Sailors to promote responsible decision making over the next 101 days of summer.

The Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention (NADAP) Office wants to thank all of the Sailors who have supported the Keep What You've Earned mission by taking a role in the prevention of alcohol abuse, whether it's offering to be a designated driver or reminding their shipmates of all that they've accomplished.

"The support of each and every Sailor is critical to changing the culture of drinking from over-consumption to responsible drinking," said Dorice Favorite, director of NADAP. "We've started seeing a change, and through support from the deckplate, Sailors are creating a social norm of responsible drinking."

Over the past few years, the U.S. Navy has seen Sailors take a more proactive role in encouraging and engaging in responsible drinking habits. While it may be a common perception that drinking alcohol will make a party more fun, too much alcohol can lead to bad decision-making and too often leads to fatal accidents.

Navy Photo

NADAP offers the following tips on how to drink responsibly this summer:

- If you're hosting a BBQ, provide plenty of food and alcohol-free drinks. Make sure all of your guests have a way to get home safely before they start drinking.

- Whether you're on the road or outdoors, heat plus alcohol can equal trouble. Hot summer days cause fluid loss through perspiration, while alcohol causes fluid loss through increased urination. Together, they can quickly lead to dehydration or heat stroke.

- Be an active bystander and don't let your friends or shipmates drive drunk. The rate of alcohol-related traffic fatalities increase significantly from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

The Navy encourages all Sailors to continue to commit to responsible decision-making by taking the annual "Play to Live" summer pledge.

"We're asking each and every Sailor to commit to drinking responsibly this summer by participating in the pledge, encouraging one another to make responsible decisions, and being an active bystander," said Favorite. "Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and remember to keep what you've earned!"