Have you heard the term “Blackout Wednesday”? It’s the night before Thanksgiving and it is associated with binge drinking. Since most people don’t work on Thanksgiving, and most college students are home to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with their families and with friends they haven’t seen since leaving for college, Thanksgiving Eve has become a very popular night for young people to consume a lot of alcohol. In some bars across the nation they are reporting that they now see more business on “Blackout Wednesday” than on St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s Eve. The name refers to “blacking out”, or memory loss due to excessive alcohol intoxication, and the term was first coined by college students in Chicago in the mid-1970s.
Over the years this day has gained popularity to the point where it became a coined phrase in Urban Dictionary in 2006. During the Thanksgiving holiday, college students are back in their hometowns and are reuniting with old friends they haven’t seen since leaving for college a few months earlier. Some of these students are now also drinking legally for the first time in their hometowns which only adds to the popularity of the day.
What can you do? If your child is of legal drinking age talk to him or her about responsible drinking, as well as the dangers of drinking and driving. If your child is underage, make sure they know what your rules are pertaining to underage drinking and what their consequences are for breaking these rules. Remember, your children have spent the last few months on their own, some for the very first time, and it’s okay to remind them of the dangers of alcohol and other drug use while they are home with you. After all, we want this holiday to be filled with what we are all thankful for and not one that is marked by tragedy.