Binge Drinking and the Holidays

Why We Tend to Drink More During the Holiday Season


A recent article in Healthline addresses a major concern “How Easy Is It to Binge Drink During the Holidays?” According to the reporting, many holiday celebrations are associated with alcohol or have alcohol readily available. The social acceptability of drinking at holiday parties makes it easy to consume too much in a short period of time. 

Unfortunately, many people do not realize that they are drinking too much and even fewer consider their alcohol consumption “binge drinking.” As noted by Healthline, “binge drinking is defined as having five drinks for men and four drinks for women in a 2-hour time frame.” This amount of alcohol can put you over the 0.08 percent blood alcohol level.

What Makes People More Likely to Binge Drink

The holidays can be stressful and alcohol has been used as a stress-coping mechanism since its invention. But Healthline points out a number of other reasons why binge drinking may occur more during the holidays such as:

  • Believing more alcohol will make you have more fun at a holiday party
  • Social pressure
  • Low levels of dopamine
  • Age
  • Certain personality traits

Will 2020 Be Different?

The 2020 holiday season may have fewer large gatherings but there is still potential for over-consumption. It does not take a huge holiday party for someone to binge drink. This year it may be other factors that contribute to excessive drinking. In some cases, the isolation of the pandemic which may feel heightened during the holidays can lead to consuming more alcohol.

In March, studies show that there was a sharp increase in the amount of alcohol that was being purchased leading some to worry that it could lead to a substance use crisis. Even without the pandemic, only a small percentage of people with Alcohol Use Disorder seek treatment, medical professionals worry that the number could grow significantly if funding for treatment programs dries up. 

The Good News

The good news is that if you are struggling with a dependence on alcohol, there are options for treatment. You do not have to go through the holidays alone. We have catered treatments to meet the unique needs of the pandemic. This holiday season, stay safe and stay sober. It is never too late to seek treatment.