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Dr Russ Blog - Ringing in the New Year (SAFELY)
Ringing in the New Year (SAFELY)
Created on 12/30/2008

New Year's Eve is upon us and the celebrations are about to begin. After all, it's a fresh start, a New Year filled with promise and possibility. For many of us the celebrating includes alcoholic beverages like champagne, beer, wine or mixed drinks. I offer a plea - enjoy, but be smart about your alcohol intake on New Year's Eve (and any other day!). A few things to keep in mind:

    You've heard it before but it bears repeating - have a designated driver with you, someone who commits to not drinking, someone who can then safely drive everyone home (and also make sure that friends are not overdoing it or getting into trouble).

    "Nurse" your drinks so they last longer. Sip and savor the taste of your beverage - it's more enjoyable that way and you're likely to drink less alcohol over the course of the celebration.

    If you're concerned about your weight, remember that many of those delicious "fruity" concoctions, while tasty, are high in calories.

Let's briefly consider alcohol intake during the rest of the year. You've likely heard that alcohol in moderation might actually be good for our hearts. This may be true, but the benefits of alcohol ingestion are not so great that doctors would ask patients who don't drink to start. The data are most promising for wine (both red and white) and dark beers, but remember that regular alcohol intake can have serious health consequences that include liver and stomach problems, high blood pressure, elevated triglyceride levels, and even an increased incidence of certain forms of cancer (for example, women who frequently drink alcohol are at higher risk for breast cancer).   

In short, consider alcohol an occasional treat to be enjoyed in moderation, and never to be ingested when you have to drive. This way you, and every other driver on the road, will be safer.

Have a safe, joyous, peaceful and HEALTHY New Year.
Be well.
Dr. Russ

** Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. **

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