It’s The Most Intoxicated Time of The Year
It’s no surprise that Christmas tree sales increase during the holiday season or that Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has reached no. 1 again. But the holidays are also the busiest time of the year for alcohol sales and consumption. 1
Holidays and Alcohol Misuse
People in the United States consume more alcohol around the holidays, with alcohol sales peaking between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. According to the CEO of American Addiction Centers, Dr. Thomas Britton, “while some people drink to celebrate, others drink because it helps them feel less depressed, less alone, or less bored.”1
For some, Dr. Britton points out that holidays can “lead to increases in stress, isolation, and depression, causing more alcohol poisonings, binge drinking, car accidents, and other adverse effects of large amounts of drinking.” Do not block this out, as it can lead to significant problems, including binge drinking.1
To make matters worse, people may be less likely to seek help for their alcohol misuse during the holiday season. SNL recently poked fun at this trend of not seeking help during the holiday season. Set to a jolly tune, the cast sings that “all the problems and issues and crying and tissues can wait until January.” They even call the month “No Remember December.” All jokes aside, this is not a healthy or helpful mindset.2
Dangers of Binge Drinking
Binge drinking is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as “a pattern of drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 percent—or 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter—or higher. For a typical adult, this pattern of alcohol misuse corresponds to consuming 4 or more drinks (female), or 5 or more drinks (male) in about 2 hours.”
Consequences of binge drinking may include3:
- Alcohol overdose.
- Unsafe sexual behavior (unintentional pregnancy of the transmission of STIs).
- Falls, car accidents, burns, and drownings.
- Acute pancreatitis.
- Compromised immune system functioning.
- Chronic diseases.
- Increased risk of several types of cancer.
Helpful tips to Support Sober Loved Ones
There are many steps you can take to support a loved one during the holiday season. For one, you can provide or bring non-alcoholic options to holiday gatherings that you host or attend. Other supportive actions include:
- Offer to stay sober with them, either for the whole holiday season or for the event you are attending with them.
- Throw a sober gathering. No need to have alcohol!
- Be a listening ear if they need to vent about the stresses that come with the holidays.
- Don’t question their alcohol avoidance. Don’t ask “why aren’t you drinking.”
- Let guests know if you have a newly sober friend or relative coming to your holiday gathering.
If you do see a friend or loved one relapse, say something. Your encouragement could be instrumental in your loved one seeking the help they need.
AdCare Treatment Centers has been offering drug and alcohol addiction treatment for the past 45 years. With facilities located throughout New England, AdCare offers various levels of care including: