From eggnog to mulled wine to spiked hot apple cider and beyond, for many of us, the holidays and drinking go hand-in-hand. A new survey of 3,000 drinkers (ages 21+) by Addiction-Treatment.com, a leading provider of alcohol addiction rehabilitation resources, found that the average New Jerseyan drinks for four days in a row over the holidays, without taking a day off. Whether that seems like a lot or totally acceptable especially during COVID is up to you, but one thing is certain – we definitely love our booze here in the Garden State.

©istockphoto.com/Alina Rosanova

Almost half of the respondents say that drinking at Christmas is a family tradition. When it comes to gifts, alcohol is at the top of the list for many – over 1 in 3 people said they gave wine or spirits to a loved one at Christmas. And most surprisingly, almost a quarter of all respondents said they were likely to spike their morning coffee during the holidays!

And while there’s nothing wrong with a celebratory cocktail (or two) drinking can become dangerous if it becomes something you rely on to make yourself feel better, particularly during these difficult times.

When compared to how the rest of the country is drinking over the holidays, NJ fell somewhere in the middle with drinks happening four days in a row for the average person. According to the survey, people in Washington and Idaho drink for the longest string of time in a row – six days. Comparatively, people in Hawaii, Louisiana, New Hampshire and West Virginia seem to have a more sober season, drinking for just two days in a row over the holidays, without a break.

While many of us are saying cheers over Zoom or from the comfort of our couches with our immediate family this season, 16 percent of respondents said they were concerned about a loved one’s drinking habits. The holidays can be a high-risk time for people in recovery, especially if they are near others who are imbibing or feeling increased levels of stress and anxiety.

“It’s important that people not use the pandemic or the holidays to justify excessive drinking,” said Brittney Morse, a spokesperson for Addiction-Treatment.com and licensed advanced alcohol and drug counselor. “We know that overindulgence in alcohol can start the process for bad habits and lead to unhealthy coping skills that could ultimately result in alcohol dependence. Now is a great time to establish new, healthy traditions that are not centered around the consumption of alcohol. This ensures every family member, even those in recovery, can enjoy the holiday traditions together.”

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