Mistletoe. Family. Presents. Church. Turkey. Eggnog. Alcohol. All those nouns describe different people’s holiday traditions.
Two recovering addicts say the last noun does not have to define your Yuletide or New Year, the Times-Gazette reports.
“A sober holiday is the best holiday,” said Tim Lokey, an addictions counselor at Tony Rice Center Inc. and a recovering alcohol and drug addict. “If you don’t drink, you can remember the holiday. If you overindulge, you can ruin the holiday.”
Randy Haveson, another recovering alcoholic and drug user turned addictions counselor, has written a book advising people how to drink responsibly. Appropriately enough, his basic advice is don’t drink.
Lokey said he also urges abstinence, especially for someone like himself who is a recovered alcoholic.
“Addiction, if untreated, is 100 percent fatal, but is 100 percent preventable,” Lokey said. One in 10 who drink become an alcoholic, he said.
Middle Tennessee has a huge problem with alcohol and drug co-addiction.
“It’s been coming for years with the mentality of taking a pill for everything. People medicate their emotions,” which often leads to addiction. “They need to process their emotions.”
If you do drink, however, Haveson offers tips on how to do so in a responsible manner. Haveson’s book is titled “Party with a Plan,” and the plan is the “Know the Code 0-1-2-3.”
Each number refers to the number of drinks in a given time period. Zero is the best option for any particular evening, said Haveson, who has worked in the addictions field since 1986.
But if you do drink, have no more than one per hour. Serving size is also a factor: 12 oz. beer, 5 oz. wine or 1 oz. shot. The number 2 refers to no more than two drinks per week.