It certainly is the most wonderful time of the year. The holiday season brings great times of fun and celebration filled with time with family and friends. There are so many opportunities to celebrate, but that also brings with it plenty of opportunities to drink, and if you are in recovery that can be challenging. Gaining more knowledge about how we consume alcohol during the holidays can help avoid the traps of excessive drinking or help avoid it altogether.
A recent study sought to find out which holidays people reported drinking the most while celebrating. The findings weren’t all that surprising with Mardi Gras coming in first with an average of 4.5 drinks consumed, followed closely by New Year’s Eve with 4.4. It’s possible that since these holidays come right before a season of resolutions or abstaining for Lent, people tend to binge more. St. Patrick’s Day comes as the third most alcohol indulgent day and showed that most people associated the holiday with drinking. On average over 40% of women and 45% of men reported binge drinking on these three holidays.
An interesting trend emerges after Halloween for alcohol consumption as the holiday season kicks off. While people were more likely to report binge drinking on Mardi Gras, New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day; most reported prolonged drinking throughout the Christmas holiday season. Drinking during some holidays is usually a onetime event, but a season filled with holiday parties, dinners, stress, shopping and family drama can cause alcohol consumption to increase and become more frequent.
Some traps to avoid this holiday season while celebrating if you choose to drink:
Merriment can be too merry
Those who consider themselves festive celebrators often report consuming an average of 0.8 more drinks at holiday celebrations. That difference might seem small, but a single drink can cause one to cross the intoxication threshold. One study also found that celebrations with loud music can increase the amount a person drinks at a party.
Know what you’re drinking
Holiday beverages can vary according to each celebration. The most consumed alcoholic beverage on Halloween is beer, followed by vodka and tequila, while the most consumed beverage for New Years was champagne. Most people consume wine or whiskey around the table at Thanksgiving and Christmas to compliment the meal, while sipping on eggnog or cordials around the Christmas season is a common occurrence. Knowing your limits and how different alcohols affect you can be the difference between celebration and overdoing it. Studies show that while hard liquor leads to more reported blackouts and forgotten fun, carbonated beverages like champagne and beer bring on feelings of intoxication much quicker.
Celebrate your sobriety
Do you struggle with the temptation drink too much during the holiday season? If you are in recovery, do you find the temptation or peer pressure to drink from those around you hard to overcome? Whether it be a desire to celebrate and unwind, the holidays can be a gateway for relapse. Alcohol abuse affects nearly 15.1 million Americans, even those who don’t think they have a problem.
If you or a loved one struggle with alcohol recovery, Rock Recovery Center in West Palm Beach, Florida can help. Our team is an advocate for your recovery and can help you with next steps. You can call 24 hour helpline or chat with us now.