Raise a glass, but drink responsibly

Public Health. The Association of Mature Citizens (AMAC) issued a release advising that members and the public be careful not to overdo the libation as they ring in the New Year.

27 Dec 2019 | 11:00

There’s no toast like raising a glass during the holidays, but the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) suggests being careful not to overdo it tonight.

Senior advocate and AMAC president Dan Weber notes that Americans increase their use of alcohol exponentially between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

“It’s bad enough when youngsters drink to excess, but it can have particularly critical effects on older folk," Weber stated in a press release.

Studies have shown that Americans double their intake of alcohol during the holiday season, starting on what has been called “Blackout Wednesday,” the day before Thanksgiving Day and continuing through New Year’s Day. The publication, Beverage Daily, notes that on average most of the year people consume about four drinks a week, but during those festive days from Blackout Wednesday to January 1 it can be eight drinks a week or more.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information [NCBI], “In addition to the psychosocial issues that are unique to older adults, aging also ushers in biomedical changes that influence the effects that alcohol and drugs have on the body. Alcohol abuse, for example, may accelerate the normal decline in physiological functioning that occurs with age. In addition, alcohol may elevate older adults' already high risk for injury, illness, and socioeconomic decline.”

The NCBI also suggests that friends and family are more likely to ignore excess drinking in older adults, which means it's especially important for adults not to rely on others to keep their drinking in check.

“Therefore, it is up to you to drink responsibly, which means taking it easy as you pour and limiting your intake,” says Weber.

In preparation for any outing where there will be drinking, "prepare yourself to be a ‘responsible’ drinker, one who plans ahead before heading out for a night of festivities.”

Weber offers a few tips:
-Limit drinking to one lightly poured cocktail per hour.
-You’ll consume less alcohol if you have a non-alcoholic drink between boozy drinks.
-Don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach.
-Most important is to trust your own instincts by not letting a party pal determine that you “need” another drink.