As the Christmas trees and tinsel start being taken out of boxes around the country and people begin to finalise plans for Christmas Day, the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC) is reminding people to look after each other around alcohol to make this holiday season one that everyone will want to remember.
“We’re really encouraging people to plan ahead. For people running functions or having friends and family over to their home that means thinking about the place of alcohol and how to manage it to avoid people drinking too much. And for people attending parties, set a limit for how much you’re going to drink in advance and stick to it,” said ALAC Chief Executive Officer Gerard Vaughan.
“The old Christmas carol talks about the 12 days of Christmas. But when we over indulge in alcohol the festive season can so easily turn into weeks, months or even years of regret because of damage to work and personal relationships, property and health,” said Mr Vaughan.
Alcohol impacts many New Zealanders in a number of ways every year.
Alcohol is a factor in a third of all police apprehensions.
Of the 154 deaths and serious injuries on our roads reported by police on average each year during the Christmas period, 32 (21 percent) involved alcohol.
Each year nearly 20 people drown while under the influence of alcohol.
Alcohol is involved in 50 percent of all fatal house fires.
“If you are the host, there are simple things you can do to help everyone enjoy the festivities without getting drunk and ruining things for everyone. Provide food, have some interesting drinks on offer other than alcohol, set the tone by talking to people in advance about what you expect and make sure there are ways for them to get home safely.
“We’re basically asking New Zealanders to place their emphasis this Christmas on the most important things at this time of the year – the people they love and care about.”