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Does Holiday Stress Drive You to Drinking?

Now that we’re deep in the middle of the holiday season, we can’t help but think about all of our favorite aspects of the holidays – winter sports, cozying up by the fireplace, mountain cabins, snowfall, holiday celebrations, and spending extra time with friends and family. But then...there’s a darker side to the holidays that people rarely mention – stress!

Let’s face it, the holidays can be stressful. After all, it’s the one time of year that you might spend forever finding people “that perfect gift.” It’s the time of year we plan big parties. It’s the time of year people excitedly wait for their end of quarter or year bonuses and their hearts sink if they don’t get them.

It’s the time of year millions of Americans go into debt. And it’s the time of year that we have to (gasp) see certain family members that stir up all kinds of negative emotions. It’s no wonder why people turn to the bottle when the holiday stress gets the best of them.

Stress Can Increase Drinking

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), “One way that people may choose to cope with stress is by turning to alcohol.” No surprise there. The NIAAA continues, “Problems arise, however, when stress is ongoing and people continue to try and deal with its effects by drinking alcohol.”

While you may not develop a long-term drinking problem during the holidays, it doesn’t mean the extra alcohol can’t affect you. If you’re stressed because your mother-in-law is staying with you for a week in December, or because you had to put all of your family’s Christmas gifts on credit cards, or because you’re all alone due to a recent divorce, you may find yourself drinking double, if not triple what you normally drink.

“Alcohol reliably reduces the body’s physiological stress response. But you may need to get drunk to get that benefit every time, so it’s...uh, not a good de-stressing strategy for the long run,” according to an article published by CNN.

If you decide to drink alcohol during the holidays because you’re celebrating with friends and family or because you’re trying to get some stress relief, remember to drink in moderation and whatever you do, avoid drinking and driving. The last thing you want is the stress to lead to criminal charges.

At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc., we want to wish you a safe, happy, and DUI-free holiday season! But if you are arrested for DUI in OC – do give us a call.