The Truth About Alcohol During The Holidays: How To Eat, Drink And Be Merry (Responsibly)
North American Precis Syndicate
This holiday season, plan ahead to serve or drink alcohol responsibly. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—The holiday season is a time for celebration, renewals of
faith, and setting goals for the year ahead. During family and social
gatherings, champagne corks may be popped and wine passed as family and
friends gather. While holiday parties invoke the spirit of the season,
unhealthy alcohol use—drinking over the recommended limit of three
drinks for women and four drinks for men per day—can lead to dangerous
consequences for yourself and those around you.
Many of us like to celebrate during the holidays. But the truth is, more people are likely to drink beyond their limits
during this season than at other times of the year. Consequences of unhealthy
drinking can range from the harmless (but potentially embarrassing) to the
destructive, including driving while intoxicated and risky sexual behaviors.
Despite the potential dangers, drinking during the holidays can be done
responsibly. Here are six steps you can take to prevent and reduce the risks
associated with overindulgence of holiday drinking:
1. Abstain. You don’t
need alcohol to be the life of the party. Bring a fun, nonalcoholic beverage
of your choice to celebrations where you know there will be alcohol so you
don’t deviate from your plan.
2. Pace yourself. Know what
constitutes a standard drink and have no more than one per hour.
3. Have “drink spacers.”
Make every other drink a nonalcoholic one. Water is a great choice.
4. Do not make alcohol the central
focus of the gathering or party. In place, engage in other healthier
food, drink and entertainment activities.
5. Make plans to get home safely.
Remember that a designated driver is someone who hasn’t had any
alcohol, not simply the person in your group who drank the least.
6. Make the holiday season a time
for wellness. Help alleviate the stress that holidays can bring by
focusing on self-care. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration’s Eight Dimensions of Wellness can help you identify
healthy habits and avoid alcohol misuse during the holiday season: www.samhsa.gov/wellness-initiative/eight-dimensions-wellness.
It may surprise you, but during the holidays, those who do not normally
drink alcohol need to be as cautious as people who drink more often. Low
tolerance and unfamiliarity with alcoholic drinks are two chief contributors
to drinking too much, too quickly. Occasional and heavy drinkers also need to
be on alert since they may feel their increased drinking levels are
appropriate and normal, because their peers, who drink infrequently, have
increased their level of drinking.
Holidays are a great time to let loose—just remember not to lose
track of what and how much alcohol you are drinking. Stay mindful by drinking
responsibly and safely. If you have a drinking problem, are concerned with
your alcohol use or suspect a loved one needs help, you can find treatment
securely and anonymously by using the Behavioral Health Treatment Services
Locator at https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov
or by calling the National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)