The winter holidays are a great time to get together and celebrate with family and friends. Whether you are hosting a holiday party for a crowd or an intimate dinner party for a few close friends, as the host you have many decisions to make and details to remember. However, if you choose to serve alcohol, the most important thing to consider is how you are going to keep your guests safe both during and after the festivities.
- Avoid making alcohol the main focus of social events. Entertain guests with music, dancing, games, food, and lively conversation.
- Offer plenty of nonalcoholic choices such as sparkling water, fancy juice drinks, soft drinks, and bottled water.
- Provide guests with nutritious and appealing foods to slow the effects of alcohol. High protein and carbohydrate foods like cheese and meats are especially good. They stay in the stomach much longer, which slows the rate at which the body absorbs alcohol. Avoid salty foods, which encourage people to drink more.
- At least 1 hour before the end of the event, stop serving alocohol and offer coffee, non-alcoholic beverages, and desserts.
- Recruit people ahead of time who will not be drinking to help ensure that everyone has a safe ride home.
- Be prepared to offer your guests alternate forms of transportation. Know what “safe ride” programs are available in your area, keep the phone numbers of several cab companies handy, and ask someone who was not drinking to drive a guest home. If these options aren’t available, offer your place to spend the night.
And remember, when it comes to underage drinking, the law is clear. If you are 21 years old or older, you may consume alcohol. If you are not, it is against the law. If you have a party, you may not provide, give or allow any of your guests who are under 21 to have alcohol. To learn more about the Social Host Law in Massachusetts click here.
For more alcohol and drug free party planning tips click here for a free copy of SAMHSA’s guide, “Party Planning Tips for an Alcohol Safe and Drug Free Holiday Season to Remember.”
If you are concerned about a loved one’s alcohol use or are looking for support for your own or a loved one’s recovery visit www.helpline-online.com or call 1-800-327-5050 (7 days; multi-lingual); TTY: 1-888-448-8621 for peer support services, confidential information, and referrals to counseling.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!
Weekly Flu Report, January 13, 2017 posted on Jan 13
The latest weekly flu report shows a slight decrease in rates of flu-like illness in Massachusetts over the past 7 days. But flu can be unpredictable, and we’re not likely to see the peak of flu season until February or even March. So if you haven’t gotten a …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, January 13, 2017
Highlights of the January 11th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Jan 11
The first monthly PHC meeting of 2017 featured one Determination of Need (DoN) request, votes on two final amendments to regulations, and an informational briefing on proposed guidelines associated with the Determination of Need program. First, the Council took up a DoN application from Baystate Medical …Continue Reading Highlights of the January 11th Public Health Council Meeting
Tackling Your New Year’s Resolutions! posted on Jan 9
It’s January. And I can tell…not from the wintry weather or the after-Christmas sales…but from the number of prospective members I see getting tours of the gym while I’m trying to fit in my (less frequent than I’d like) workout. January 1st marks the start …Continue Reading Tackling Your New Year’s Resolutions!