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Social drug abuse during your New Year’s festivities: Be on the lookout

During this time of year, you may be welcoming many guests into your home for holiday parties. While you entertain and enjoy the company of family and friends, you’re probably not thinking about the threat of social drug abuse using prescription drugs from your very own medicine cabinet or the jacket of a friend. Public health officials say, however, that keeping these substances out of the hands of the wrong individuals should be at the forefront of your mind. 

“We don’t like to think of guests rifling through our medicine chests, but it is a possibility,” said Courtney Stewart, a research associate at the Indiana University School of Public Health, to HealthDay News. “Play it safe. Guests will be using bathrooms and placing coats and purses in various rooms. Prescription drugs of any kind should be placed in a safe location where they are kept locked and out of the hands of guests.”

She noted that the safe location may need to be out of your house entirely. Consider locking prescription narcotics in your car, or making one of your bedrooms inaccessible to guests. 

Another substance abuse issue that is often seen during holiday gatherings is excessive drinking. Unlike at a bar or a restaurant, guests at a home are often welcome to prepare beverages for themselves. This means that individuals may quickly become intoxicated and continue to drink more than they usually would.

If you are hosting a party, Stewart recommends that you abstain from drinking in order to keep an eye on your guests. You should also provide plenty of nonalcoholic beverages for younger guests and individuals who do not want to drink. 

The holiday season is a wonderful time to bond with your family, but you should always be on the lookout for signs of substance abuse. To learn more about how a family interventionist may help your loved one, contact Intervention Services today. 

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