And since extended holiday dinners with relatives, non-relatives, and screaming children always make me (a lifelong teetotaler) want to pick up binge drinking as a new hobby, I've spent the last two weeks asking patients (most of whom are either in recovery, or avoiding alcohol as part of their probation) very specific questions on what they're planning to do to stay sober over the holidays.
And the responses have been very illuminating. They've ranged from "go to extra meetings," to "my wife won't let me buy beer, and it's too far to walk to the store."
One slightly offended gentleman told me, "I don't have a problem with alcohol."
"That's good sir, but your parole officer does have a problem with you using it. So what are you going to do to keep him happy this holiday?"
"I'm spending Christmas with my in-laws, and they're the most uptight stone-cold sober-heads you're going to find. I couldn't drink even if I wanted to!"