Beware the Punch Bowl: Drinking Related Problems Around the Holidays

Beware the Punch Bowl: Drinking Related Problems Around the Holidays

The holidays are a time for celebration. Many people include drinking in their celebration, including wine on Thanksgiving, cocktails at Christmas parties, and champagne on New Year's. But sometimes, you drinking too much can lead to serious problems. There are many reasons why the holidays lead to excessive drinking.

Related: 6 Types of Heart-Healthy Holiday Beverages

Stress

The holidays are full of stress as you prepare for the festivities. The malls are crowded, your budget may not be where you want it, family and friends will be coming by, and you're trying to get your house in order. If you find yourself reaching for an extra glass of wine to calm your holiday nerves, decide if that's the best way to handle your stress. Look for alternatives, such as meditation and exercise.

Depression

Some people drink when they get depressed. The holidays can cause severe depression if you're alone or your expectations aren't met. But drinking will just add to your depression, making you feel worse. You could end up on an endless cycle. If you find you are drinking in excess to numb yourself from depression, get help. Talk to a counselor, or attend an A.A. meeting. Check with your local urgent care for meetings in your town.

Peer Pressure

If you attend several holiday parties, chances are you may feel compelled to drink. Parties offer a variety of beer, wine, and mixed drinks. But remember, they're only a complement, not the point of the party itself. Before you go, set a limit on the number of drinks you'll have, and choose a designated driver. Don't give in to the festivities if they go past your personal limits. If you're hosting the party, collect everyone's car keys when they arrive, and hand them back only to the designated drivers who didn't drink. You could be saving a lot of lives by preventing alcohol-related accidents.

Related: Your Cocktail and 5 Things That Don't Mix

Under Age Drinking

Your kids are home from school for at least two weeks during the holidays. If you keep alcohol in the house, there's a chance they could help themselves while you're at work. To avoid coming home to a drunken teenager, keep your alcohol in a locked cabinet. Talk to your teen about the dangers of drinking, including potential health risks, drinking and driving, and even household accidents that can occur when they're unsteady from the alcohol. Keep plenty of nonalcoholic drinks in the refrigerator for them to enjoy.

Substance Abuse

People with substance abuse problems tend to fall off the wagon during the holidays. It could be from depression, or simply because the alcohol is easily accessible at parties. If you know someone with a problem, keep an eye on them during the holidays, and seek help as soon as you notice a problem.

Related: The Harsh Reality of College Drinking

If you find yourself drinking too much this holiday season, take a step back. Evaluate your emotions, and get a handle on what's causing your problem.

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