- By Elvia Santillán
Once again we are approaching the holidays, a time of celebration, love, and family. During the holidays we find ourselves eating too much, shopping too much, spending too much, partying too much, and with that comes drinking too much. We are all exposed to drinks during New Years, football games, friends and family parties.
During the holidays people drink for many reasons... and find very little to celebrate the next day. This year, here's a challenge: can we celebrate by enjoying the company of loved ones and without drinking too much?
How Much Is Too Much?
• For men: More than 4 drinks on one occasion, or more than 14 a week.
• For women and people 65 and older: More than 3 drinks on one occasion, or more than 7 a week.
A standard drink in the United States is any drink that contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol (about 0.6 fluid ounces or 1.2 tablespoons). It might be difficult to estimate the number of standard drinks in a single mixed drink consisting of hard liquor. Be aware that a mixed drink can contain from one to three or more standard drinks.
For beer, the approximate number of standard drinks in
12 oz. = 1 16 oz. = 1.3 22 oz. = 2 40 oz. = 3.3
For table wine, the approximate number of standard drinks in a standard 750-mL (25-oz.) bottle = 5
Excerpted from NIH Publication No. 07-3769 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Enjoy this holiday season by celebrating in a healthy way and caring for your health and of your friends and family. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind during the holidays.
• Cross alcohol off your gift list. For some reason, alcohol has become a gift essential when people don't know what to give. But the holidays can be an especially difficult time for many families that are dealing with alcohol problems. So how about giving gifts such as a bottle of fancy olive oil, herb flavored vinegar, imported sparkling water.
• Set your limit and stick to it. Before the celebrations begin, know the exact number of drinks that you will consume in advance. Always stick to your limit no matter what is offered. Maybe give people some excuses they can use like "I'm saving room for the food” or "I guess I’m the DD (designated driver) tonight" or "I partied last night."
• Don’t drink on an empty stomach: Eating will help you avoid drinking too much. It is especially hard during the holidays when you have to wait for the food to be ready. In the meantime, eat a snack and drink water to reduce the cravings.
• Drink only if you want to. If you don’t want to drink don’t let peer pressure force you. to for any reason, including, “but it’s the holiday season." Say NO to peer pressure!
• Always encourage the use of designated drivers: Supporting the use of taxi services will keep intoxicated people off the roads. Decide whose turn to be the DD before the night begins.
The holidays are a time for joy, happiness, and celebration so drink responsibly and moderately--you will miss the "fun" of the morning after...