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Drinking and the Holidays

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Drinking and the Holidays

When I saw the headline, I had a feeling I knew what the article would say. The Medpage Todayholiday ornaments.jpg article was titled: “Relatives, Alcohol, Knives, and Other ED [Emergency Department] Thanksgiving Tales.” I was right; it warned readers about holiday merriment when drinking is involved. “People need to minimize their alcohol consumption. But if they don’t, stay away from relatives and carving knives,” if offered.

Articles like this start appearing around Thanksgiving each year. At a minimum, it certainly doesn’t hurt to remind people of the dangers of drinking and driving at a time when people may imbibe more (especially people with a problem). Besides parties with family and friends, there are those holiday office parties, too.

 Also, college students returning home for the break and congregating in bars can be a real concern. Here’s an article (“Home for the Holiday, Time to Party”) on this yearly ritual from the Wall Street Journal. The paper referred to these events as “the alcohol-fueled get-together[s] of the old high-school crowd.” Of course you think about the drive home and hope the young drivers don’t get behind the wheel.

On the other end of the scale, inebriated family members have caused heartaches, arguments, and worse during holiday get-togethers. Every family in this situation knows what I’m talking about, and families are at different places as to how they handle a family member who drinks. Some try to overlook the drinking and enjoy the holiday despite it. A number of people roll their eyes about their “Uncle Harry” whose drinking is quite obvious during the holiday celebration. Some families insist the the family member who drinks refrain from drinking, or some family members stay away if that family member is allowed to attend. Each family – and family member – has to handle it their own way.

 Then there are the questions regarding family members in recovery. Do you drink around them? Do you only have non-alcoholic drinks? Do you ask them their preferences? It’s not always easy to know what to do.




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