There’s a new smartphone accessory that will measure your blood-alcohol content to let you know if you’ve had too much to drink.
And if you have … congratulations! You’re in! A BAC above the legal limit for driving gains you entry into the LIVR app’s social network, like the doorman has waved you into the club. You access the app by blowing into a breathalyzer that plugs into the charging port of a phone. The app offers features like “Drunk Dial,” which randomly connects two inebriated partiers, and “Truth or Dare,” which connects users to crowd-sourced activities daring them to accomplish a task, earning LIVR points when they do. “Hot Spots” features maps to the nearest bars and clubs with the most intoxicated patrons. There’s also a blackout button that wipes all evidence, including photos and call history, from the device.
Sound like an extraordinarily bad idea? It is. The LIVR app is a hoax intended to fool the media and Silicon Valley developers. But drinking too much alcohol is nothing to joke about. It increases people’s risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease and some types of cancer. This April, during Alcohol Awareness Month, Elements Behavioral Health encourages you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much.
Alcohol use by young people is particularly dangerous and is directly associated with traffic fatalities, violence, suicide, poor grades, alcohol overdose and unsafe sex. Each year, more than 6,500 people under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related accidents and thousands more are injured, according to the National Council on Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
A new interactive simulated drinking app “If I Drink…” provides a first-person virtual experience that shows just how severely alcohol can affect your ability to drive a car, as well as ride a bike or walk the line at different BAC levels, ranging from sober to extremely intoxicated. The app also describes the potential legal consequences based on current state law.
- Alcohol is the No. 1 drug of choice for America’s young people, and is more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined.
- Each day, 7,000 kids in the United States under the age of 16 take their first drink.
- Those who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin at age 21.
- More than 1,700 college students in the U.S. are killed each year—about 4.65 a day—as a result of alcohol-related injuries.
- 25% of U.S. children are exposed to alcohol-use disorders in their family.
- Underage alcohol use costs the nation an estimated $62 billion annually.If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting.
“Underage drinking is a complex issue,” said Greg Muth, chairperson of the NCADD board of directors, “one that can only be solved through a sustained and cooperative effort. As a nation, we need to wake up to the reality that for some, alcoholism and addiction develop at a young age and that intervention, treatment, and recovery support are essential for them and their families,” Muth said in a news release. “We can’t afford to wait any longer.”
Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking:
- Limit your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for men
- Keep track of how much you drink
- Don’t drink when you are upset
- Avoid places where people drink a lot
- Make a list of reasons not to drink
- If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking, offer to help.
A disclaimer at the bottom of the LIVR site says: “Do not drink and drive. Do not drink excessively. Excessive consumption of alcohol may cause irreparable damage or harm to your body and may be lethal.”
Even the prankers get it.