The holidays are coming and fun is to be had. This time of year we gather with friends, family, and coworkers to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company. Alcohol can often be part of these festivities and celebrations. During the holiday season, US alcohol sales spike, and people who rarely consume alcohol may occasionally find themselves partaking.
Is there anything wrong with enjoying alcohol over the holidays? For most people, probably not. But we do need to remember that when people drink too much, they may act in uncharacteristic manners or engage in risky behaviors. These can include things like driving after consuming alcohol, or conflict with others as a result of drinking too much. Paired with the increased stress of the holidays, too much alcohol can create holiday memories people would rather not remember.
What are some tips to ensure this holiday season is both fun and memorable? If you attend a holiday gathering and decide to drink, have a plan in place. Be aware of how much you want to consume and stick with it. A good guideline is to limit consumption to one standard drink per hour and no more than three drinks on any one occasion. This will help avoid many of the problems associated with alcohol impairment.
As part of your plan, know in advance how you will get home safely. There are numerous taxi and driver services available today with access to the installation. Be sure to have contact info for these services to get a ride when you need it. For longer rides, consider sharing the fare between multiple people to save money and discourage anyone from driving due to high transportation fares.
Remember, having a great time with friends, coworkers and family during the holidays doesn’t require alcohol use. When hosting a party or gathering, ensure that non-alcoholic beverages are available to those that may not want to drink. A simple internet search will yield fun non-alcoholic holiday drinks and party punches guaranteed to satisfy everyone.
We hope you have a fun, safe holiday season. If you or someone you know needs support for alcohol or substance use this season, contact the Alcohol Abuse Prevention Specialist at (252) 466-8413 for helpful resources.