Certain holidays seem to be built around the idea of going out and having a few drinks in celebration. St. Patrick’s Day is perhaps the most well-known of these holidays. Every year, people worldwide celebrate the life of Ireland’s patron saint with all things green, including beer and cocktails.
Many people associate alcohol abuse with someone who drinks every day, but social drinking can fit into that category, as well, if you end up binge drinking. If you feel as though your social drinking on St. Patrick’s Day can’t be harmful, our TruHealing Centers team wants you to learn more about holiday drinking.
If I Drink on St. Patrick’s Day, Is It Binge Drinking?
Binge drinking is consuming a lot of alcohol in a short time. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines it as five or more drinks for men and four or more for women in under two hours. That much alcohol is enough to push your blood alcohol concentration past the legal limit.
Someone can be a binge drinker whether they drink this quantity once a year, only on St. Patrick’s Day, or every weekend.
Of course, someone who drinks socially and may occasionally binge drink doesn’t necessarily have alcohol use disorder. Social drinking, even without binging, has dangers too.
Dangers of Social Drinking on St. Patrick’s Day
Even if you don’t binge drink on holidays, you can still drink too much. That can lead to risky behaviors such as:
- Drunk driving
- Sexual promiscuity
- Unintentional injuries from falls while drinking
- Potential health problems such as high blood pressure or nausea
Social holiday drinking can be excessive even if it doesn’t fit the definition of binge drinking. Excessive drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning and death.
Social drinking dangers extend past your drinking, too. Other people getting drunk and put you at risk for violence, sexual assault, and drunk driving accidents.
Is Social Drinking Safe on St. Patrick’s Day?
Social drinking on St. Patrick’s Day can be safe if done in moderation. Anytime you celebrate with holiday drinking, you should create rules that guide you. For example, there should always be a trustworthy designated driver. If, for some reason, you can’t ride with the designated driver, do not accept a ride from someone you don’t know or barely know. Don’t get in the car with someone who has been drinking.
Throughout the night, pace your drinking. Match every alcoholic beverage with a glass of water or nonalcoholic drink. This helps slow down your intake, so you don’t binge drink. It also helps reduce the risk of dehydration. Make eating a hearty St. Patrick’s Day meal part of your celebration, too. Remember Grandma’s corn beef and cabbage? It’s the perfect day to recreate that recipe.
When Does Binge Drinking Become Alcohol Use Disorder?
The possibility of addiction exists when a person can not simply drink socially. Someone who binge drinks every time they drink, whether it is for a holiday celebration or just a night out with friends, may have a substance use disorder that could benefit from treatment in programs like found at TruHealing Centers.
TruHealing Centers is one of the leading programs for substance abuse and mental health treatment. We offer a continuum of care, which means we support you through every stage of your recovery.
Services offered at the various TruHealing Centers along the east coast include:
The TruHealing Centers staff provides an individualized care plan to ensure you get the treatment therapies best suited to your needs. We offer treatment for all types of substance use disorders too, including alcohol.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Safely This Year
On St. Patrick’s Day, we are all Irish. Social drinking can be part of that fun if you set rules for yourself and drink in moderation. If you have any concerns about holiday drinking, give TruHealing Centers a call at 833.631.0525 or fill out our online contact form today for more information.