Group of women drinking at the bar.

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Drinksgiving: Alcohol related ER trips spike the night before Thanksgiving

November 21, 2018 - 9:40 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- While many people overeat on Thanksgiving Day, it turns out many folks are also prone to another kind of indulgence on Thanksgiving Eve.

According to the Gateway Foundation, the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is referred to by many as blackout Wednesday, or 'Drinksgiving.'

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Addiction expert Michael Molton says pentup emotions combined with gathering with estranged friends or family can lead people to drink heavier than normal.

"A lot of people will use alcohol to mask these feelings and what actually happens is it backfires and it can be actually very destructive and even deadly," he said.

Some experts say statistics show the night to be one of the most common drunk driving nights of the year.

The trend has swayed some safety groups to launch an ad campaign emphasizing a safer holiday.

“The best part of Thanksgiving isn’t what’s on the table; it’s who’s at your table,” says a message from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “If you want to make sure that the people you love arrive to your table safely, urge them not to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs this Thanksgiving holiday.”

It's not just bars that see an uptick on Thanksgiving Eve, but emergency rooms too with one facility seeing a 25 percent spike in alcohol related visits.

“The combination of alcohol and large amounts of food can bring in people with diarrhea. Car crashes. Unstoppable vomiting. Then dangerous conditions like pancreatitis or atrial fibrillation,” Dr. Graham Snyder said.

Graham said there's no such thing as a hangover cure for those who overindulge, but drinking with food can slow alcohol's effects.