Vodka, wine, and champagne are staples at many New Year’s parties.
“New Year’s is a massive party for many Americans," said Relevé Counseling therapist, Alex Gonzalez.
One research study found binge drinking is very common across the country. Four out of 10 men indicated they down at least four drinks before midnight. For women, it’s 30%. Being safe doesn’t just happen. Alex suggests having a plan.
“Have a designated driver. Try to be home at a specific time and set that in advance. Just make sure you have a plan for when you go out, if you go out, so you’re not setting yourself up for failure or negative consequences.”
Even those who don’t want to drink may feel the pressure to do so.
“Don’t pressure other people into drinking with you. You don’t know if they have things going on in their headspace.”
It’s ok to ask, of course.
“If they say no, you respect that because they may not want to for their own reasons and that’s ok. It doesn’t mean they don’t want be your friend.”
There’s a lot of ways to have fun and celebrate on New Year’s that don’t involve alcohol.
“You don’t need alcohol to have a good time, that has never been true. You don’t need alcohol. You just need to have the people that you’re with, enjoy the moment that you’re in, whether or not alcohol is a thing is immaterial.
If you’ve had too much to drink and need a ride home, deputies from the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office will give you one for free. It’s part of their annual New Year’s Safe Ride Home program. It operates 11pm - 3am on December 31st. You must live within Winnebago County. You can request a ride through the non-emergency number at 815-282-2600.
Our New Year coverage continues on Dec. 28th and 29th. We'll talk about ways to deal with the holiday while single and how to be successful when making those New Year's resolutions.