David Sack gave some tips to reporter Jen Weigel of the Chicago Tribune on how to avoid too much alcohol over the holidays in the piece, “Coping with too Much Holiday Cheer.” Dr. Sack talked about how the current economic client may contribute to disappointment over the holidays this year.
“A lot of people are disappointed as the holidays approach because they realize this isn’t going to be the opportunity they had hoped for mutual support, recognition and affection from their families or friends,” said Dr. David Sack, president and CEO of Elements Behavioral Health, which oversees several addiction treatment programs around the country, including Promises Treatment Centers in Malibu and Los Angeles.
He offered tips on managing alcohol use over this stressful time period, and how to deal with relatives who drink too much during family events.
“People feel they should be more forgiving over the holidays but they’re not doing their relative any favors by tolerating their addiction,” said Sack. “This is not a gift. The gift is to say, ‘We care about you enough that we’d like to take you to treatment to get help.’ Looking the other way just continues the cycle.
In fact, if alcohol has proven to be negative fuel during past holidays, Dr. Sack recommends you consider an alcohol-free holiday.
“I know a lot of families who simply won’t serve alcohol because there are family members who have a problem with alcohol,” Sack said. “They set the expectation with the family that, ‘We don’t do alcohol here because we’re not going to have a sloppy drunk and the drama,’ and that helps. Nobody says you have to have alcohol to enjoy the holidays.”