Fill your cup with good expectations for 2016

12 31 15 New Year FireworksDec. 31, 2015—New Year’s Eve doesn’t have to be synonymous with drinking. You can toast the new year and have a great time without alcohol.

Staying away from alcohol at holiday celebrations can be a smart move. You’ll remember the night—and all the fun you have. Your thinking and decisions won’t be impaired. You’ll avoid unpleasant side effects that can bring down your New Year’s, such as dizziness, queasiness and that dreaded hangover.

Whether you’re a party goer or the host with the most, you have lots of options to start 2016 off right.

Fill your cup with good expectations

Alcohol is often seen as the key to a good time. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people drink alcohol in social situations because it:

  • Makes them feel more outgoing.
  • Loosens them up.
  • Makes them have more fun.

However, research shows that these expectations impact a person’s experience more than the actual alcohol. Basically, these partygoers have more fun because they expect to have more fun. If you expect to feel social and outgoing, you’re likely to feel that way—whether you drink alcohol or not.

When alcohol is present

If you attend a party with alcohol, there are ways to ensure a fun and safe time without drinking. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and other experts offer many tips for those looking to dial down the drinking. For instance:

  • Make it a well-balanced event. Don’t focus on the bar. Entertain yourself and others with music, games, food and lively conversation.
  • Take advantage of non-alcoholic drink choices. A fun, fruity drink always feels like a treat. And coffee and bottled water are always popular choices.
The take-home message
Problems with alcohol don’t take a holiday. If you’re unsure if you have a drinking problem, this quick quiz can help you figure it out.

If you’re ready to take steps to leading an alcohol-free life, talk to a doctor. He or she may be able to discuss possible treatment options.

In addition, you can get free information and treatment referrals over the phone. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a toll-free number. Call 800.622.HELP (800.622.4357) for help in English or Spanish. You can talk to a representative, request information or get a referral for treatment near you.

 

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