Why is Alcohol Abuse During the Holidays High?
The holidays are a time of cheer and celebration. Getting together with friends and family, going to a relative’s house for dinner, buying and receiving gifts, these are just a few of the holiday events and activities most people partake in. A popular question around these joyful holiday times is, why is alcohol abuse during the holidays so high?
There are many reasons why alcohol abuse during the holidays is so high. One of the main reasons alcohol abuse is high around the holidays is because for some the holidays are the exact opposite of joyful and cheerful. They are stressed out because of money, poor planning skills, time management issues, relatives not getting along, traveling during the holiday season, and many more issues. So, when certain people get stressed out, they turn to the alcohol. They try to dull their feelings of stress by drinking alcohol. This usually results in them drinking some much they cannot function properly.
While stress is a huge factor, another factor is depression. The holidays bring up a huge amount of depression for various reasons. The loss of a loved one can bring on depression for the entire holiday season. For some people not being with their loved one on what should be a happy day, brings extreme sadness, and they cannot face it. Instead of using proper coping and mourning skills, people choose to drink, to forget how much pain they are in. Another factor that might stir depression into someone’s holiday season is society’s trademark propaganda of everyone is happy all the time during the holidays and if you are not, there is something wrong with you. Let’s face it, watching movies with happy people, people singing about being happy, seeing pictures of people constantly smiling, and various other holiday cheer mediums, can make a person question why they are not as happy as the people in the movies, songs, and pictures. This makes certain people want to fix this situation, instead of just dealing with that fact that you do not need to be happy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They will lean on alcohol as a crutch to get them through the holidays and appear happy to themselves or others.
Another contributing factor to alcohol abuse during the holiday season is simply the society view of alcohol and the holiday season. It’s that time of year, time to drink and be merry. The American society has always equated the holiday season with alcohol, just like many other societies. The problem is that people tend to interpret that as saying, “It’s the holidays! It is time to eat and drink as much as you can!” People drink to drink. They may try to out drink another relative or friend, just to chalk it up as good holiday fun. In reality, this holiday fun can turn into quite a tragic tale, with drunk driving or even alcohol poisoning. Please remember to be safe this holiday season and encourage others to do the same.