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Whether it’s red wine with Thanksgiving turkey, eggnog on Christmas, or champagne on New Year’s, winter holiday gatherings seem to come packaged with a signature alcoholic beverage. For many of us, it is a time to celebrate the good times and having an alcoholic beverage helps us to relax and enjoy, however for some it becomes the main event of the evening and is a sign of a deeper problem.

An unfortunate reality of the holiday season is the increase in alcohol related driving arrests and accidents. The consequences of this impaired driving not only affect the driver but passengers and other motorists that are in harms way. In fact, the California Highway Patrol reported that 50 DUI arrests were made on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving this year. Across the state there were 262 DUI arrests.  If you are hosting a holiday party this year and are concerned about your guests getting home safely, consider the following tips:

1) Never pressure anyone to drink.

2) Offer guests a wide selection of tasty non-alcoholic drinks.

3) Stop serving alcohol an hour before the party is expected to end.

4) Encourage guests to appoint a designated driver.

5) Call a taxi or arrange for a ride for any guest that is inebriated.

If you are generally the person who ends up dead drunk at the end of a party and know you have an alcohol problem, this is a good time to take the first step to deal with it head-on. People who struggle with drinking issues often feel ashamed and embarrassed, but admitting to the problem and looking for support from loved ones, education and therapy is the only way you will get your life back. The reality is that if you are an alcoholic, everyone around you already knows it. However, if you’d like to keep your recovery process quiet, a good way to start is by taking an alcohol awareness class online.

Taking an online alcohol awareness class has many benefits. Quality educational classes are available online that are designed by a licensed and practicing specialists in the field of alcohol and drugs. All the client needs to do is register for a course length of her choice (8, 10, 12, 16, 20 or 24 hours), and the class is available immediately on the computer screen in front of you. The class is divided by chapters according to topic. The client can start and stop the class as many times as necessary in their busy schedules. Furthermore, taking the class online offers the ability to stay in the comfort of your own home with complete privacy, so no one else needs to know that you have decided to embark on this path. If you do feel the need for support, be sure to choose a class that also gives you the opportunity to speak with a psychotherapist during the workweek.

Taking an alcohol awareness class during this time of year when alcohol is highly prevalent at many functions will give you the additional support and guidance you need to stay sober. Make this the year that you don’t have to regret your behavior at workplace parties or friend and family social gatherings. Give yourself the gift of education to help you overcome alcoholic behavior.