Wherever you fall on the spectrum, moderation is key for alcohol – especially during the holiday season where opportunities abound for indulgence.
What are the Guidelines?
Guidelines state for women:
- 2 standard drinks per day
- 10 standard drinks per week
- 3 standard drinks on special occasions
- No amount of alcohol is safe for pregnant women
- 3 standard drinks per day
- 15 standard drinks per week
- 4 standard drinks on special occasions
Men and women are encouraged to not drink daily. However, even if you can tolerate more than the guidelines without feeling intoxicated, this does not mean you should drink more. And, if you feel intoxicated when you have less than the guidelines, stop.
In addition to the dangers of excessive intoxication, drinking too much often leads to in-taking less water and healthy food. Long-term over-drinking can lead to serious health outcomes like high blood pressure, memory loss, dementia, cancer and poor mental health.
Alcohol also lies to you and sometimes those lies are more than “you are a great dancer;” or, “who says you can’t sing? Bust out that song right here right now in the restaurant!” Sometimes those lies are, “you are okay to drive;” or “he/she/they are totally interested in you so why are taking no for an answer?” That leads you to very dangerous territory where loss of life and freedom may result. Do not victimize yourself or others simply for a drink.
How to Moderate Drinking During the Holidays?
To moderate holiday drinking, have a plan – and stick to it.
- Decide in advance on how many drinks you will have. If purchasing them, bring enough cash for those drinks and a cab only, and leave the credit and debit cards at home.
- Tell your group that you will not be drinking, or that you will not be drinking to excess. Have a trusted friend help hold you accountable and remind you to stop if you reach for an extra drink.
- Know that saying NO to extra drinks is okay. You can say it to yourself and to someone offering you a drink. NO is a complete sentence. Explanations are not necessary.
- Leave the event if there is too much pressure to drink.
- If you wish to be discreet and remain social, walk around with a non-alcoholic cocktail. The bartender can make you a mocktail and nobody is any wiser.
It’s Not All Fun and Games and People Do Get Hurt
Drinking too much seldom leads to any good outcome. Excess consumption hurts your health and can hurt those around you. Rather than have regrets this holiday season, have a plan in place instead. Enjoy alcohol responsibly or choose to not drink at all. With a plan in place, you are empowered to make a smart decision.