Just One Sip: When One Drink Isn’t Enough during the Holidays

Updated on 11/15/23

The holidays are the time of year when people become a part of a party circuit. They are either obligated or pressured to attend parties, social gatherings or traditional family events, which cause stress, anxiety, or depression. Throughout this hectic and festive time of year, a person faces endless demands on their coping skills. They can feel the only way to get through an event is to have a drink or tell themselves they will only have one sip. Before they know it, one becomes two, three or more. One sip is often a slippery slope to one glass not being enough.

Parties Can Be Triggering during the Holidays

When people go to parties, they look forward to seeing friends, coworkers or family. The conversation flows, and so does the alcohol. Open bars or servers passing cocktails throughout a room make it easy to lose track of how many drinks they have consumed. Groups of friends or colleagues drift towards the bar, and some stay there.

For some, parties or social events aren’t always fun. The pressure to interact, enjoy the party, or show up to the event is, at times, overwhelming. The thought of not having a drink or more before or during a party or social event can induce fear. Drinking alcohol reduces or masks discomfort and awkwardness, and in a crowded environment, reliance on alcohol can go undetected. 

Alcohol use during social occasions is an accepted norm. Drinking at parties, even to excess, is expected. After parties, people can nurse a hangover, swear they won’t drink that much alcohol again or make plans to quit. Then they go to another social gathering and repeat their behaviors in a dangerous cycle. This is the usual repetition if someone has an alcohol use disorder.

Get Treatment for Alcohol Use during the Holidays

After a holiday party, have you ever had any regrets the next day? Have you experienced any of the following after drinking:

  • Calling in sick to work or canceling plans with friends or family
  • Drinking negatively affects work or personal life
  • An increase in fights, whether they are physical or verbal, when drinking
  • Regretting actions taken or words said while inebriated
  • Missed plans because of a hangover

If you have, getting treatment for alcohol abuse can be life-changing, especially during the holidays. It is a courageous step towards a healthy lifestyle in the long run. The choice to enter a treatment program is often difficult but can be the right one in order to have a more promising tomorrow. A treatment center that incorporates proven therapeutic processes and holistic therapies is ideal.

Treatment is more than curing the symptoms of a disease; it is about addressing the whole person. Working with a therapist who can adjust treatment to a person’s needs is essential to a good recovery experience. Integrating holistic therapies such as yoga, art, meditation or journaling is documented to recenter and calm the mind, body, and spirit. A treatment center dedicated to the comfort, safety or privacy of their patients heightens a person’s ability to work on their recovery. 

Alcohol use as a social prop can appear harmless, but relying on alcohol to loosen up, feel comfortable or show up at an event is problematic. The need to drink to have fun or ease feelings of anxiety, stress or depression can indicate a person has an alcohol use disorder. Cliffside Malibu believes each patient is unique and deserves individualized care while they are in treatment or recovery, even throughout the holiday season. We pride ourselves on our safe, private and comfortable treatment center that allows our patients to immerse themselves in healing their bodies, minds and spirits. For more information, call (855) 403-5641.