MINNEAPOLIS — Mulled wine. Spiced rum. Spiked eggnog. Holiday ‘Spirits’. The last few weeks of the year are filled with boozy offerings. For people who struggle with alcohol, the span from Thanksgiving through the first week of the New Year can be torturous.
Minnesota has one of the highest binge-drinking rates in the nation. According to the Minnesota Department of Health 18.4% of residents binge drink. MDH data shows the rate of self-reported binge drinking has not changed much since 2011 – 22.6% for men and 14.3% for women. The overall rate is among the highest in the nation.
A November report in JAMA Network looked at deaths from 2015-2019. It estimates 1 in 8 deaths among Americans aged 20-64 is due to excessive alcohol use. More sobering, the rate is 1 in 5 for people in the 20-49 age group.
The Minnesota Reformer, citing data from the CDC, reports more than 1,100 Minnesotans died due to excessive drinking in 2021. That’s more than homicides and suicides combined.
Helping those who struggle
In a season filled with celebrations, alcohol is part of the equation at many events. At family gatherings, ‘Uncle Bob’ is quick to push a drink in everyone’s hands. Friends gather at the local microbrewery to celebrate the season. Even an afternoon of outdoor activity is celebrated with a cup of spiked cocoa or cider. It can be a real challenge to ‘just say no’.
For decades the Hazelden/Betty Ford Foundation has provided guidance for people who struggle with addiction. KARE 11 Sunrise recently talked with one of their experts. She provided strategies for getting out of boozy situation. Click here for that report.
The Hazelden/Berry Ford Foundation has seven tips for staying sober, preventing relapse, and avoiding holiday blues.
Action Recovery Centers has ten tips on “How to Stay Sober & Sane… when you have a perfectly imperfect Family”.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), a division of the US Dept Health & Human Services has a treatment referral hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) which operates 24/7/365. Online help is available here: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline
They also offer a Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator.
Know Your Numbers
This information is provided by Health Fair 11 as part of its Know Your Numbers campaign. Health Fair 11 is a non-profit organization that operates with financial support from sponsorships and grants. KARE 11 TV is its media partner.
RESOURCES USED FOR THIS ARTICLE
Excessive Drinking Data – Minnesota Department of Health
Alcohol-related deaths rise significantly 2015-2019 - JAMA Network
Minnesota’s alcohol death rate unprecedented – Minnesota Reformer
Binge Drinking data – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Holiday sobriety - KARE 11 Sunrise
Seven tips for staying sober, preventing relapse, and avoid holiday blues – Hazelden Berry Ford Foundation