Lockdown, social isolation, working from home… this year has been a tough one for many of us. For some, what better way to lift our spirits than to ring in the holiday cheer by saying three cheers to the final days of 2020? Sugar cookies, mulled wine, eggnog and spiced apple cider – many can already smell the mouth-watering Christmas aromas! Coupled with all the warm, hearty meals in between, it can be hard to resist a celebratory cocktail during the festive season.
A survey of 3,000 drinkers (ages 21+) by Addiction-Treatment.com, a leading provider of alcohol addiction rehabilitation resources, found that the average Marylander drinks for five days in a row over the holiday season, without having a day off. A few warm mugs of spiced cider or a nightcap or two each evening could add up and before you know it, on the fourth day of Christmas, you might end up with a bad hangover if you overdo it!
Broken down across the country, those in Washington and Idaho drink for the longest string of time in a row – six days. Comparatively, people in Hawaii, Louisiana, New Hampshire and West Virginia seem to have a more sober season, drinking for just two days in a row over the holidays, without a break.
A Tipsy Tradition: It was also found that nearly half (42%) of respondents say they consider drinking at Christmas to be a family tradition. Additionally, a third (35%) say they gift booze to loved ones over the holidays. Especially after the challenging year many of us have had, it may be easy to become caught up in the boozy festivities this holiday season. A quarter (24%) of respondents also admitted they often spike their morning joe with alcohol during the holidays.
The survey revealed that 16% of respondents say they are concerned about their loved ones’ drinking habits these holidays following the stress brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Being surrounded by loved ones who are indulging in drinking and celebrating may create a high-risk environment for people in recovery. Combined with increased stress and anxiety levels due to the pandemic, this Christmas could be even more challenging for some. If you notice celebrations getting rowdy during the holidays, it might be worthwhile to take a step back and evaluate the situation to see if any of your loved ones are struggling in the environment.
“It’s important that people not use the pandemic or the holidays to justify excessive drinking,” said Brittney Morse, a spokesperson for Addiction-Treatment.com and a licensed advanced alcohol and drug counselor. “We know that overindulgence in alcohol can start the process for bad habits and lead to unhealthy coping skills that could ultimately result in alcohol dependence. Now is a great time to establish new, healthy traditions that are not centered around the consumption of alcohol. This ensures every family member, even those in recovery, can enjoy the holiday traditions together..”