Every year, as the holiday season looms into view, family gatherings and other social events start filling the slots of our calendars. What should be a time of celebration can very easily give rise to increased pressures. Some tend to overeat, some overspend, some bury themselves in work or shy away from social functions, and for some, it becomes an excuse for increased drinking.
Holidays can bring about elevated stress levels for so many, due to the ever-increasing expense of purchasing presents, preparing for the arrival of company, keeping up with traditions,and the extra responsibilities that the season brings; There is no question that the holiday season is just as tense and hectic as it is cheerful.
It is not surprising that the holiday season is one of the most dangerous times of the year for alcohol related accidents and deaths.
Hand in hand with the increased number of parties and social gatherings comes more opportunities and excuses to imbibe. Some holiday drinkers have a lower alcohol tolerance because they do not drink often. Consequently, many times they underestimate their level of impairment and are more prone to drive when they should not. When tested (and eventually arrested) for drunk driving, they often have a relatively low blood alcohol content but are very intoxicated.
How To Avoid Alcohol-Related Problems this Holiday
Make your holidays happier and safer by following these five simple tips for consuming alcohol in moderation throughout the season:
- Just say no – Resist the pressure to drink or serve alcohol at every social event. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to drink it.
- Don’t feel like you have to drink just because your host offers it to you — it’s not rude to choose a non-alcoholic beverage instead.
- If you are hosting the event and plan to serve alcohol, also offer nonalcoholic beverages as well. Make sure your guest feel as comfortable choosing nonalcoholic beverages as they would choosing alcohol. You can do this by putting nonalcoholic drinks in a prominent, easily accessible place and asking guests what they’d like to drink, instead of pointing them to the bar or handing them an alcoholic drink on their arrival.
- Have a designated a driver selected before going out. Most of us hear this suggestion all the time, we read it all the time, we see it in commercials – it’s the easiest way to get home safely – yet many people totally ignore this one simple step.
- Decide how many drinks you will have, and what type ahead of time – then stick to your plan.
Remember the reason for the holidays, and enjoy spending time with your family and friends. The choice to drink is yours. The choice to drink and drive is yours. The responsibility for any consequences resulting from your drinking and driving are yours as well!
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