Rethinking Holiday Drinking


By: Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Many of us look forward to holiday celebrations, however it is also a time in the year when people are more likely to drink beyond their limit. To enjoy a safe holiday celebration, consider these tips and drink in moderation:

  • Abstain. You do not need alcohol to enjoy a party.
  • Pace yourself. Avoid binge-drinking and spread out the consumption of your drinks. Try to only consume one drink per hour.
  • Use non-alcoholic drink spacers. Consider drinking water between each alcoholic beverage to ensure that you do not overindulge.
  • If your celebration includes alcohol consumption, do not drive. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 40 percent of traffic fatalities during the holidays involve a driver who is impaired by alcohol, compared to 28 percent for the rest of the year. Ensure there is a designated driver for your holiday gathering who remains 100 percent sober and is not simply the person who drank the least.

Drink in Moderation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests you abstain from drinking if you do not already drink alcohol regularly. If you choose to drink in moderation during the holidays, please note that the CDC Dietary Guidelines for Alcohol defines moderate drinking as one drink or less in a day for women and two drinks or less in a day for men.

Resources about Responsible Alcohol Use

For more information on safe consumption of alcohol, visit Rethinking Drinking, a website that provides information that can help you assess your drinking patterns, and decide if you need to make a change.

Contact a healthcare provider or your Component EAP if you are concerned about your drinking habits or the drinking habits of someone you care about.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS). (December 2021). Rethinking Holiday Drinking. Retrieved from


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