SAP stressing safe drinking over holidays

“Be safe and smart this holiday.”
That’s the message Kelly Olson, co-ordinator for the district Substance Abuse Program, is stressing with Christmas and New Year’s festivities soon upon us.
“Have a great time, have fun. But also be smart about your decisions because they can affect people other than you,” Olson said.
“People should also think ahead. Know where the evening is going to go,” she added. “Don’t let yourself get into a situation where you’re forced to react, in which case you might not make the best decision.”
As a host, or someone who is providing alcohol to guests, Olson suggested people keep the following tips in mind:
•stay away from drinking as the reason for having your party;
•always serve food if you intend to serve alcohol (low-salt food is best);
•do not force alcohol on guests, customers, or employees when you see their glass is empty;
•remember that consuming no more than two standard drinks on any one day constitutes low-risk drinking;
•as a host, it’s important to stay sober;
•serve a variety of non-alcoholic beverages, as well as coffee and tea;
•as a sober host, mix and serve the alcoholic drinks yourself;
•offer to provide rides home to your guests, customers, and employees well in advance of the get-together; and
•offer to pay for cab rides home, or prepare to have your guests stay the night.
“Make your guests aware that they do have many choices, but drinking and driving shouldn’t be one of them,” said Olson. “Be safe and smart this holiday season.”
Olson also offered up three “mocktail” recipes fit for the festive season:
< *c>New Year’s Eve Kiss
Pour 2 oz. of passion fruit juice in a champagne flute. Fill with club soda.
< *c>Mulled Apple Cider
8 cups apple cider
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 Tbsp. ginger
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 orange, sliced
Cook in slow cooker for two-four hours at low setting. Serves eight.
< *c>Festive Punch
1 can orange juice, concentrate (thawed)
1 can lemonade, concentrate (thawed)
1 can apple juice (chilled)
1 bottle ginger ale (chilled)
1 pint sherbet (orange, raspberry, lemon, or lemon-lime) partially thawed
In a large bowl, combine concentrates and apple juice. Stir in ginger ale. Spoon sherbet over top. Makes 28 servings.
For more information about SAP, call Olson at 482-1968. SAP is an initiative of the Northwestern Health Unit.