St. Patrick’s Day is often celebrated with parades, festivals, and other occasions where drinking might occur. If you’re in recovery, you might have concerns about the upcoming holiday. Maybe your friends are planning to throw a party or meet at a bar, and you want to avoid relapse but still want to celebrate. There are several ways you can celebrate without drinking. And for those not currently in recovery from alcohol abuse, understanding the dangers of binge drinking can help you make healthy choices this St. Patrick’s Day.
Why Is Binge Drinking Dangerous?
St. Patrick’s Day marks a day to celebrate the life of Saint Patrick of Ireland. However, in the United States, it’s often connected to parades and drinking. It’s become one of the top drinking holidays, and you may find yourself in a situation where people keep giving you alcohol and encouraging you to down each glass.
What can happen is that the effects of the alcohol may not be immediately apparent. Alcohol acts as a depressant, meaning that it slows down your central nervous system. It can be easy to miss the warning signs that your holiday drinking might be overloading your system with too much alcohol.
Over time, your reaction time may start getting slower. You may find yourself losing control over your emotions and even becoming aggressive. That can lead to situations where you get into a fight or commit some other act of violence.
Other dangers of heaving drinking include:
- Blacking out
- Getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated
- Not remembering acts you committed while drinking
- Alcohol poisoning
Heavy drinking can cause you to still feel the effects of alcohol well into the next day. That makes it dangerous for you to do things like operate heavy machinery or take your regular morning commute to work. Your coordination and reactions may still be affected by the alcohol in your system, which can make you dangerous to yourself and others in your vicinity.
How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Without Heavy Drinking
There are several ways you can remain safe this holiday.
1. Plan How You Want to Celebrate
Think about the environment you want surrounding you during the holiday. If you want to avoid heavy drinking, stay away from bars and social gatherings where social drinking will be a feature. Look for local alcohol-free events where you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like a parade. You can also plan a family dinner with non-alcoholic drinks.
2. Find Sober Companions to Spend Time With
Use St. Patrick’s Day as an opportunity to connect with friends who wish to join you in your quest to avoid heavy drinking. You can use that time to support yourself or a friend’s desire to remain sober.
3. Go Out and Exercise
If you’re looking to improve your fitness, try signing up for a St. Patrick’s Day race. Many local running clubs host one during the holiday and spice them up with splashes of Irish cheer. Look for something fun like one that encourages participants to dress up like leprechauns or where you toss candy to the crowd.
Learn to Enjoy Sober Holidays
Just because it’s a holiday does not mean you have to drink heavily, or at all. If you find yourself frequently participating in binge drinking, you may need to seek help from a specialist with experience helping diagnose substance use disorders.
If you find that your issues extend beyond too much social drinking, then Fresh Start Recovery Center might be the place for you. We help clients dealing with a variety of substance abuse issues, including: