(Green Bay, Wis.) — As the weather warms up, summer activities are in full swing. This means barbecues, picnics, outdoor recreation and get-togethers with family and friends. For some people, especially in Wisconsin, these activities often include alcohol. This summer, be sure to take steps to protect your own health and the health of others.
“It’s so easy to get carried away with drinking when your activities increase and it’s hot,” said Tina Baeten, clinical supervisor at the Jackie Nitschke Center. “Although you can usually limit yourself to one or two alcoholic beverages at an event, when there is a full day activity or more activities than usual, this number can easily turn into half. -dozen or more. For anyone on the path to substance addiction, summer activities can be a tipping point.
If alcohol is a central part of an event or activity, Baeten says there are some things to keep in mind if you’re recovering or just don’t want to drink. “Don’t be afraid to say ‘no, thank you’ to your host or someone who encourages you to drink,” Baeten says. “Or just let them know you prefer water or a soda. That, more often than not, will end the discussion. Or bring your own cooler of soft drinks if you think they won’t be available.
Family members and friends can also be helpful when organizing a summer get-together:
- Have several different non-alcoholic beverages available
- Provide a variety of healthy foods and snacks
- Keep conversations light and on positive things. Do not venture into discussions on controversial topics or family issues that may make people anxious or angry
- Help customers get home safely – use designated drivers, taxis or ride-sharing services
Keeping these things in mind can help you avoid alcohol-related problems during the summer months. But if you find yourself on the road to addiction, be sure to seek help. The Jackie Nitschke Center is dedicated to helping those struggling with addiction through residential inpatient and outpatient programs for individuals and their families, as well as recovery housing for those who have completed treatment.