Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Opinion

December 23, 2012

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — If you or your friends are going to a party and plan to drink alcohol, decide in advance, whom the designated driver will be. Drinking and driving is not an option.

Remember that a designated driver is someone who has not had anything to drink, not just the one who has had the least.

If you drink during the holidays, pace yourself. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recommends not having more than one drink per hour. They also suggest making every other drink a nonalcoholic one. 

For people in recovery, the holidays often present special challenges. Anyone who is trying to maintain sobriety understands that the holidays are filled with temptations and potential pitfalls, especially when the people around us are drinking or using other drugs.

There may be painful memories or losses associated with holidays from the past, or stress related to dealing with uncomfortable feelings about the holiday this year. If you are in recovery, consider attending extra meetings or reaching out for extra support to take care of yourself. You can also follow these tips for extra support as well:

Keep a phone number for a sponsor or a supportive family member with you.

Stay away from the treats that may contain alcohol, such as rum balls, punch and eggnog. While they might taste good, it may bring on a strong urge.

Keep going to your meetings – they do not stop during the holidays.

As many as 74 percent of Americans identify that addiction has had an impact on them at some point in their lives. For some, it may be their own personal addiction; for others, that of a friend or family member, or any other experience with addiction. Anyone with a friend or loved one who has a substance abuse problem should also consider seeking extra support and assistance during the holidays as the holiday season could also be especially chaotic and challenging for the families and friends of people with substance abuse problems.

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