Binge Drinking & Hangovers – Changing the New Year’s Norms

Before you embark on a binge, think about the hangover, potential relationship hazards, and consequences.

It is almost the new year, and folks around the globe are feeling the need to mark the occasion with parties, family gatherings, fireworks, and drone displays. It seems important to celebrate the milestone and enter the new year with a bang. In fact, drinking is socially sanctioned and normalized, and it is even expected for people to binge or drink more than they’re used to drinking during the holidays. This can create hangovers instead of resolutions on New Year’s Day.


Holiday Gatherings Can Lead to Binge Drinking

Sanford Behavioral Health founder and president, Rae Green, JD, LPC, CAADC, was featured on WZZM 13 to talk about binge drinking and how to change the drinking norms this New Year’s Eve. She says, “There are risk factors during the holidays. People drink more, there are more cars on the road, there are more people driving late at night, and the weather can be a factor. This can create a deadly combination.”


Click to watch 1.22 minute video, thanks to reporter Alana Holland at WZZM 13:


10 Tips to Change Drinking Norms for the Holidays

  • Volunteer to be the designated driver.
  • If you decide not to drink, have your reason ready – Miss Manners says a simple “no thank you” should do. BYO sparkling water.
  • Have an exit strategy in place in case things get uncomfortable.
  • Arrive and leave early.
  • Stay home with hot chocolate and a movie!
  • If you are drinking, drink water between alcoholic drinks and be aware of how much you are drinking. Have a pre-assigned designated driver!
  • As a host, be aware of guests who are over-drinking. Serve plenty of non-alcoholic options, food to soak up the alcohol, and have sober drivers on standby to take people home.
  • Also as a host, create activities that do not lend themselves to drinking (sack races?) – click here for 101 ideas.
  • Get your mindset right – sober people are not boring!
  • Sanford Client Engagement Specialist, Rod Townes says, “Play the tape all the way to the end.” In other words, before you embark on a binge think about the hangover, potential relationship hazards, and consequences.


For More on the Subject – Hangovers, Tips for Avoiding Binge-Drinking, and Sober Folks are FUN

man with alkaseltzer and water for hangover

What is a Hangover? Why Aren’t Hangovers a Deterrent to Drinking?


a woman hands a gift to her friend while spending the sober holidays with a group of her friends

10 Tips for a Sober Holiday


Myth Busting – Non-Drinkers are Boring


Staying Sober During the Holidays and Beyond at Sanford Behavioral Health

Sanford Behavioral Health has a team of experienced therapists, counselors, and addiction specialists who are here to help you navigate the sober holiday season with confidence. Staying sober during the holidays is possible with the proper support and healthy habits. Visit us online today to find out more about our comprehensive addiction treatment programs, or click the link below to schedule a free consultation.


Sanford Behavioral Health is licensed and accredited as an addiction, eating disorder, and co-occurring mental health treatment facility, serving all of Michigan and beyond. Each of Sanford’s facilities in Greater Grand Rapids is carefully and diligently crafted to create a welcoming and comforting environment. Sanford is led by a psychiatrist-led team of medical, clinical, and support personnel providing medication-assisted, evidenced-based treatment to residential, outpatient, and telehealth patients. For more information, visit