The holiday season is fast approaching. There will be plenty of food to indulge in, wine, and spirits. While the holiday season is a joyous time, it also has a dark side: holiday drinking can be hazardous to your health if you’re not careful. This article will discuss the dangers of holiday drinking and ways to overcome its effects.
Holiday Drinking Statistics
Here are a few statistics on holiday drinking:
- Alcohol consumption increases during the holiday season: over 450,000 monitored DUI offenders increased their drinking rates by 33% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
- The day before Thanksgiving is known as Blackout Wednesday, “a big night of drinking.” It is one of the busiest nights for bars and is popular among college students returning home from school.
- Some of the highest incidents of binge drinking occur from Christmas week to New Year's Day.
- Office holiday parties with alcohol can increase the risk of inappropriate actions toward colleagues.
- According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 40% of highway deaths during the holidays are alcohol-related.
The Mental Effects of Alcohol During the Holidays
While the holidays are a happy time of year, they can be very difficult for people suffering from depression. These feelings can be magnified during the holiday season, and consuming alcohol can worsen things.
Sometimes, alcohol is used to alleviate or numb pain and mental anguish. Unfortunately, these feelings tend to return when the drinks wear off. More alcohol is consumed, and if this cycle continues, a person risks suffering from seasonal depression.
Here are the most common negative feelings during the holiday season:
A study on alcohol and depression found a causal link between the two, and increased alcohol consumption saw an increased risk of depression. Researchers also note that either disorder's presence doubled the second disorder's risks. 
Individuals taking antidepressants should refrain from consuming alcoholic beverages as well. The following are potential reactions to mixing antidepressants and alcohol:
- Impaired thinking or alertness
- Sedation or increased drowsiness
- Increased feelings of depression or anxiety
- More severe side effects
- Adverse reactions (ex: a spike in blood pressure, etc.)
Note: most antidepressants must be taken consistently. Stopping to indulge in alcoholic beverages is not advised.
Physical Effects of Holiday Drinking
In addition to its mental impact, alcohol can also affect physical health. Common short-term effects of excessive drinking include headaches and hangovers. Other potential effects of holiday drinking include the following:
Holiday Heart Syndrome
Alcohol use and heart rhythm disturbances in apparently healthy people is called holiday heart syndrome. Typically occurring in binge drinkers, it was first observed in people who were heavy alcohol consumers. Holiday heart syndrome is most likely to occur on weekends or after holidays, but individuals who typically drink little or no alcohol are also at risk. The most common rhythm disturbance is atrial fibrillation, which tends to be a temporary condition lasting 24 hours or less. 
Impaired Immune System
The effects of alcohol on the body can be felt long after the holiday season is over. Studies indicate excessive alcohol can hurt the immune system in several ways: 
- Increased susceptibility to pneumonia
- Alcoholic liver disease (ALD)
- Certain cancers
- Poor wound healing
- Less complete recovery from infection and physical trauma
- Poor wound healing
- Increased likelihood of acute respiratory stress syndromes (ARDS)
Insomnia occurs in 36-72% of alcoholic patients, lasting for weeks or months after initiating abstinence from alcohol. Some studies find that as the severity of alcoholism increases, so does the likelihood of insomnia. 
Change in Libido
Alcohol consumption is believed to increase subjective sexual desire, arousal, and pleasure for many women, although it lowers physiological arousal. In addition, alcohol use has been implicated in instances of sexual victimization when used by both parties. 
Holiday Drinking Tips
This holiday season, try these tips to have a safe and enjoyable time:
- Choose nonalcoholic beverages instead of alcohol.
- Have a designated driver who does not drink or call an Uber.
- Pace yourself. Do not drink too much too fast (binge drinking).
- Never drink on an empty stomach. Eat food to help soak up the alcohol and lessen the effects of the alcohol on your system.
- Drink water between each alcoholic drink. This dilutes the alcohol in the bloodstream.
Alcohol Detox Tips
If a person has consumed too much alcohol or is attempting to do an alcohol detox, here are a few ways to make the process a little easier:
Drink plenty of water.
Avoid situations or triggers that tempt you to drink.
Get support from family, friends, a support group or professional counseling.
Diet plays a key role in withdrawing from alcohol. The following foods can help with alcohol withdrawal:
Top Food Group for Alcohol Withdrawal
Top Foods For Alcohol Withdrawal
Lean red meat
Whole wheat bread
Alcohol Detox Supplements
When detoxing from alcohol, a wise option is to remove other harmful toxins from the body at the same time. The following supplements are all-natural and can help the body remove dangerous toxins safely and effectively:
The human body can remove toxins naturally. TrueCarbonCleanse™ supports this natural ability by helping remove various toxins we are exposed to daily. These would include harmful chemicals, heavy metals, plastics, and toxins from the air and water.
TrueCarbonCleanse™ is especially helpful because it attracts toxins released by the colon and permanently removes them from the body. This prevents retoxification, which occurs when toxins are reabsorbed back into the body.
TrueCarbonCleanse™ contains many all-natural gut detoxifiers, including the following:
- Activated charcoal. Absorbs up to 300 times its weight in toxins.
- Humic and fulvic acids. Powerful humates were added for additional remineralization and detox support.
- Magnesium oxide. It brings water into the intestines, which helps to push out various toxins while simultaneously diluting the toxic load.
- Apple fiber. Assists with both elimination of toxins and pollution adsorption.
- Baozene Baobab Fruit Powder. Has a high pectin content, which helps to support the binding of heavy metals. It also assists with strengthening the gastrointestinal tract, which helps the body eliminate toxins more efficiently.
- Cleanoptillite (Clinoptilolite). This product has a new, patent-pending cleaning process that attracts heavy metals and other toxins believed to cause inflammation and suppress multiple systems in the body.
GI Detox Gentle and Effective Cleanse is specifically designed to help restore microbial balance to the G.I. tract by removing heavy metals, toxins, and other debris.
GI Detox Gentle and Effective Cleanse is all-natural and contains a proprietary blend of ingredients:
- Activated charcoal
- Zeolite clay
- Aloe vera
- Apple pectin
- Humic acid
- Fulvic acid
Note: for best results, use with Biocidin®, the all-natural supplement that helps support microbiome balance for healthy digestion and elimination.
CytoDetox® Liposomal Zeolite Clinoptilolite with Fulvates was created to remove environmental toxins at the cellular level safely and 100% naturally. This would include ridding the body of pesticides, biotoxins, chemicals and heavy metals.
This product contains Molecular Clinoptilolite Fragments, which are derived from zeolites. Formed from fossilized volcanic ash and seawater, zeolites (clinoptilolite) are nature’s detoxifier for the environment.
CytoDetox® is an all-inclusive detox support product. It contains water-soluble molecular clinoptilolite fragments, larger clinoptilolite molecules, and fulvates that can travel past the colon and liver. This allows it to support the body’s natural ability to reach and detoxify every cell in the body.
This all-natural product has no known side effects or allergens and starts immediately upon use.
We must understand how alcohol impacts our bodies both mentally and physically. Take the necessary precautions to ensure you are safe and responsible this holiday season. Drink in moderation, and consume the foods and supplements to help your body avoid the effects of holiday drinking.
 Joseph M Boden, David M Fergusson. Alcohol And Depression. Addiction. 2011 May;106(5):906-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03351.x. Epub 2011 Mar 7. [PMID: 21382111] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21382111/
 V Menz, W Grimm, J Hoffmann, (et al). Alcohol And Rhythm Disturbance: The Holiday Heart Syndrome. Herz. 1996 Aug;21(4):227-31. [PMID: 8805002]. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8805002/
 Dipak Sarkar, Ph.D., D.Phil., M. Katherine Jung, Ph.D., (et al). Alcohol and the Immune System. Alcohol Res v.37(2); 2015 PMC4590612. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4590612/
 Kirk J Brower. Women, Alcohol, And Sexuality. Sleep Med Rev. 2003 Dec;7(6):523-39. doi: 10.1016/s1087-0792(03)90005-0. [PMID: 15018094] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7624547/