Emily Cassulo

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Video: Experts Give Tips for Recovering Alcoholics During Holidays

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Emotions are high during the holiday season, and this time of year can be especially tough on recovering alcoholics.

“It’s hard to watch someone else have a drink when you have the craving for one,” said Patricia Thornton, Community Counseling Services.

Thornton says she sees an increase in new clients after the holiday season, but recovering alcoholics can get through it with the right support.

“We call it being accountable,” Thornton said. “Tell someone if you’re trying to stay away from alcohol altogether, to get somebody to help you be strong in that moment. If you’re just trying to limit the amount of alcohol, there are different techniques that you can do.”

Like eating before going to a party, and taking your own car.

“That way you can come and go as you please,” said counselor Francis Baird, Ph.D. “If you feel that you’ve been there long enough, you feel some temptation to drink, it’s easy to make an excuse and go and exit the party.”

Experts say you should also bring your own non-alcoholic drink.

“You will have something in your hand, and you feel a part of, rather than a part from other people that are there,” Baird said.

For those who don’t have an addiction, experts say you should be aware of what happens when you drink, because alcohol affects people differently.

“Those people whose behavior is pretty drastically altered, those people whose personality changes significantly. Those are the people that have to really be careful,” Baird said. “Also alcohol blackouts, when those kind of things occur, that’s a huge hallmark for a dependency disorder.”

If you plan to drink this holiday season, counselors also advise to do so responsibly, and to not drink and drive.