The holidays often involve more alcohol. While that’s not the case for everyone, for some people work parties and other social events result in more drinks being consumed. And, often it's at house parties with friends and family that the glasses really stack up.
Feeling comfortable and safe - and having a place to sleep if need be - can lead some to drink more than they would if out in public, which can lead to falls, disagreements, or inappropriate behaviour with unintended consequences.
A good start for holiday planning is a review of Canada's low-risk drinking guidelines, which include how to pour a "standard" drink, be it wine, beer or a mixed drink, and set a recommended daily limit of three drinks for men and two drinks for women.
Here are some additional helpful tips for a safe holiday season, from both a host and guest perspective:
As a Host:
- Be responsible by being mindful of your own alcohol intake; offer alternatives like Cranberry Sparkler, Peppermint Hot Chocolate and other jazzed-up alcohol-free drinks.
- Offer food and low-salt snacks (salt increases thirst)
- Plan a safe-ride home system and promote to your guests.
As a Guest:
- No need to feel the pressure to have a drink just "to be festive"; enjoy an alcohol-free beverage, or alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
- Snack on some of the wonderful offerings
- Secure a safe ride home (public transit, taxi, a designated driver, etc) before you begin your socializing
An alternative is to throw a non-alcohol event where the money not spent on alcohol is collected and donated to a special cause.