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Salem Community Patriot December 17, 2010 - 7

Dangerous Drinking: When One is Not Enough

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse Alcoholism is a form of

drug addiction and a serious, chronic disease. Alcoholics are both physically and mentally dependent upon alcohol. Simi- larly, “alcohol abuse” means your drinking is excessive and interferes with your life, even though you may not be physi- cally dependent. In the United States, one out of 12 people abuses alcohol. Someone who is addicted to

alcohol: * Feels an uncontrollable

Drinking is often a fixture of

social activities for many adults, especially during the holiday season and into the new year. While many people can enjoy a beer after work or a glass of wine with dinner and stay in control, others may have trouble drinking within healthy and sensible limits. People who cannot stop after a drink or two can place themselves and others in serious danger, and can even

become addicted. Drinking responsibly does not

mean masking intoxication, as the common expression “hold your liquor” implies. In fact, enjoying a moderate amount of alcohol without overindulging means having no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women and older people, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

need to drink. * Can’t stop drinking once he

or she has started. * Has physical withdrawal

symptoms (nausea, sweating, shaking) after stopping. * Needs increasing amounts

of alcohol.

Getting help The good news is that alco- holism is treatable. However, the person with a drinking

Tips for Holiday Tipping, From the Hairdresser to the Babysitter

list, a thoughtful note of appreciation inside a holiday card may be all that is needed. Homemade baked goods are also a great way to say thank you. You may have gifts already picked out for some on your list. For others, you may find yourself wonder-

In addition to shopping for family and

friends, the holiday season is traditionally a time to show appreciation for the people who make your life easier throughout the year by giving a gift or tip. It can be daunt- ing to identify all the people to thank and then find the time and money to get the right expression of appreciation for each. Here are some ideas to help you make

sure that the important people in your life feel appreciated this holiday season:

Make a list The first thing to tackle is making your

list. Here are some of the service provid- ers you may want to consider thanking this year: * Hairdresser * Garage or door attendants

in the building where you live or work * Personal trainer * Child’s teacher * Child care provider – baby-

sitter, nanny, day care * Housekeeper * Dog walker and/or groomer * Gardener, pool cleaner * Package or mail delivery


Setting the gift value As you set the value for each

gift, you may want to take into account: * Frequency of service – How

long has this person has been working with you, and how accommodating are they? Does your babysitter cancel plans to help you last minute? Does your longtime hairdresser stay late to give you a cut after work? * Cost of service – When decid-

ing how much to give, you can often use the cost of the service as a starting point. The housekeeper might receive the equivalent of a day of cleaning; the dog walker, a day or week of walking. * Policies – If you are tipping

someone who works for a larger organization, you may want to do some research to find out their gift policies as there may be restric- tions on the type or value of a gift. * Your budget – Last, but defi-

nitely not least, work within your budget. Gifts are not required, but expressing appreciation is essen- tial. A thoughtful note accompa- nying a gift or by itself is the best way to say thank you.

Finding the perfect way to say thank you Once you’ve made your list and

set your budget, it’s time to select gifts. For some of those on your 5 Kelley Road, Salem, NH


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ing if giving cash is appropriate, or guess- ing your babysitter’s sweater size. An easy solution to giving a gift that always fits is giving a gift card that carries the name of a payment network, such as Visa. Accord- ing to a recent Visa survey, 65 percent of people would rather receive a network- branded gift card than a non-essential gift, such as a sweater, a holiday scarf or a bottle of cologne. Network-branded gift cards can be used

anywhere that brand’s payment cards are accepted, so the recipient can use the card to purchase what they really want or need. Unlike cash, many branded gift cards can be replaced if lost or stolen. Branded gift cards are easy for givers

as well: They can be purchased in a wide variety of everyday retail locations or online in the denomination of your choice, pre- venting you from spending more than you planned. Even with the best of intentions, it’s easy

to forget to include someone on your list. You may want to purchase a couple of extra gift cards to have on-hand in case you for- get someone (who remembers you) or you

are invited to a last-minute holiday event. If the cards aren’t needed, you can simply use them yourself. Thoughtful and easy, branded gift cards

are a perfect way to say thanks to those who help make your life easier throughout the year.

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problem must be willing to get help and change his or her behavior, which can include seeing a counselor and seeking medical treatment. The person may even need to check into an alcohol treatment center for days or even weeks to fully get on the road to recovery. Twelve-step support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous can also help recovering addicts focus on staying sober, and family therapy can support the healing process. “If you are worried about

a loved one’s drinking habits, remember that covering up for them doesn’t help in the long run,” says Gene Baker, Ph.D, vice president at OptumHealth Behavioral Solutions. “Choose a time when your loved one is not drinking, and talk it over as calmly as you can. If they agree to get help, call your health provider right away.” Recovering from alcohol addiction is not easy, but it is possible. For more information

Season’s Greetings Season’s Greetings

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