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2011 Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has developed ten tips for hosting a party, to help keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday season

The holiday season marks the end of one year and the beginning of another. Like many Ontarians, you may be planning to celebrate with family and friends. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has developed ten tips for hosting a party, to help keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday season.

CAMH's 10 Holiday Party Hosting Tips to Help Reduce your Risk
  1. As host, don't drink too much yourself! You can stay on top of potential problems better when you are able to think clearly and act quickly.
  2. Plan ahead.
  3. Stop serving alcohol a few hours before the party is over. Bring out more alcohol-free drinks and food.
  4. Find out how guests will be going home from your party. Be prepared to take away car keys. Know your designated drivers. Have cash and phone numbers ready for taxis.
  5. Plan to deal with guests who drink too much. Ask someone to be prepared to help you before the party gets rolling.
  6. Serve drinks yourself instead of having an open bar. Guests usually drink more when they serve themselves. Avoid doubles.
  7. Be prepared for overnight guests. Get those blankets and sleeping bags ready.
  8. Serve snacks! It is better to eat while drinking than to drink on an empty stomach. Try veggies, cheeses, and light dips—they're great and don't make your guests thirsty, as salty, sweet, or greasy foods do.
  9. Have low-alcohol and alcohol-free cocktails and drinks available, too. How about a non-alcoholic punch?
  10. Don't plan physical activities, like swimming or water-skiing, when you serve alcohol. People are more prone to mishaps when they've been drinking.
Here are some additional resources, to help you reduce your ​risks this holiday season:
  • The Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse recently released the first national Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines to help Canadians make informed choices about alcohol consumption. Keep them in mind if you choose to drink alcohol this holiday season.
  • If you think you may have a problem with alcohol use, CAMH has developed a valuable online resource to help you evaluate your drinking. Take the test to learn more about your drinking behaviours.
* These tips were developed in collaboration with the LCBO.
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