A Safe Approach to Drinking Over Summer and Winter Holidays

July 8, 2013 

During the holidays when everyone is on vacation time we tend to indulge ourselves, sometimes excessively, with food and alcoholic drinks. Because most holiday gatherings have an endless supply of alcohol, it is important to learn how to know when you've reached your limit, as well as become familiar with ways to keep yourself and others safe. Here are some tips to avoid incidents and to have safe holidays this year.  

Choose a designated driver. We all know this one, but do we all follow it? The accident rates for drinking and driving have been increasing over the years. It falls to us to be responsible and make sure we have a safe mode of transportation home. If you don't have a designated friend to keep sober behind the wheel, think about calling a taxi, or look up the local bus schedule. Remember the fees associated with a DUI can cost up to $7,000. Staying at a hotel is cheap in comparison.
 
In between drinks, have a non-alcoholic drink such as soda or water. This will make it less likely that you will pick up another drink, at least until you finish the one you're holding. So in the end you drink less alcohol.

Be alert and ready for other drivers on the road who may be intoxicated. Research shows increases in drinking rates over most holidays, especially new years and the 4th of July. 

Set a drinking limit, either per hour or per night, which ever works best for you.

If you are hosting a party, plan ahead and offer plenty of food and nonalcoholic drinks with the alcohol. This way people won't just be filling up on beer or liquor. Eating food also slows the rate of alcohol entering your blood, so you will become less intoxicated.
 
If these tips are not enough to help you control your use of alcohol over the holidays, you or a loved should think about getting help for alcohol abuse. Many levels of help are available. One alternative is an alcohol rehabilitation center which offers specialized treatment for alcoholism. Many such centers have been effective in changing behaviors and preventing relapse. Professional help can make all the difference in a speedy and lasting change in your life or the life of your loved one.