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Don’t let drinking ruin your holiday season

December 8, 2008

Don’t let drinking ruin your holiday season

With Christmas, New Year and the summer holidays upon us, Waitakere City Council is urging local residents to think about their drinking to ensure everyone has a fun and safe festive season.

“It’s important to remember what the holiday season is really about,” says Waitakere councillor Linda Cooper, an advocate for the council’s Safe Waitakere alcohol project.

“It’s about celebrating and spending time with people we care about and this can be so easily ruined when people drink too much.”

“With warmer weather, longer sunshine hours and holidays there are a lot more opportunities than usual to catch up with friends and family and have a few drinks,” she says.

“Unfortunately, when people go overboard with alcohol it can cause problems and get in the way of what could have been a great time.”
The Safe Waitakere Alcohol Project (SWAP) aims to reduce alcohol-related harm in Waitakere.
Since its inception in the late 1990s, SWAP has been involved in a series of projects and developed policies with that aim in mind. This includes Project Respect, which was aimed at reducing incidents of alcohol-related crime among young Maori and Pacific Islanders.
A current proposal is before the council for liquor bans in all town centres and some local parks and reserves.
The Safe Waitakere team recommends taking the following simple steps for those attending or throwing Christmas parties this festive season.

- Make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic and low-alcohol options at functions so people have a choice about what they can drink and can take a break from drinking alcohol.
- Make sure there is plenty of food. Why not ask people to bring a plate?
- Watch the size of drinks you’re having. Remember a standard drink is one small wine glass (100ml).
- Plan how to get home safely if you are drinking, or if you’re the host, make sure your guests do the same.
For more ideas and information go to www.alac.org.nz or www.safewaitakere.org.nz


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