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Celebrate with a difference this New Year’s

Alcohol is still considered a big part of New Year’s Eve celebration, but research is showing a spike in ambulance and emergency room attendance.

Celebrate with a difference this New Year’s

New Year’s Eve is almost here and many of us are busy making plans with friends and family on how to celebrate.

For some, alcohol is still considered to be a big part of a New Year’s Eve celebration with research showing a significant increase in ambulance and emergency room attendance due to acute alcohol intoxication on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.*

Come January 1 many people embark on a new year’s resolution of cutting back or giving up alcohol for a period of time. This year, why not consider starting early and bring in 2014 with a healthier alternative.

To help you Be the Influence – Tackling Binge Drinking has compiled a list of ten great activities for NYE celebrations:

1.       Avoid the loud parties and huge crowds and host a dinner party with a small group of friends. Set a limit for alcohol served and find a fabulous mocktail recipe as an alternative, which will have you feeling on top of your game come New Year’s Day.  Incorporate a theme or get everyone to bring a dish of their favourite cuisine of 2013.

2.       Dig out the tent and grab the sleeping bags and set off on a camping adventure. See in the New Year away from distractions, getting back to nature and looking up at the stars.

3.       Opting for a healthier NYE with less alcohol doesn’t mean you have to avoid all the fun. Grab your friends and family and head to your local firework display, take a picnic and set up a spot as you watch the sun go down and the celebrations begin.

4.       Coupled up? Spend the money you might have spent on tickets, outfits and drinks by treating yourselves to a romantic hotel with amazing views. Have a soak in the spa and then cuddle up as the clock strikes 12 to watch the fireworks.

5.       Make sure you look and feel amazing for 1 January by hosting a pamper party. Get your friends over and relax with facials, manicures, pedicures and body scrubs all to your favourite music playlist.

6.       Got some leave? Avoid the celebrations altogether and take advantage of cheap travel on NYE.  Flights can cost a fraction of the price on New Year’s Eve, so why not take the opportunity to venture to a new destination to bring in 2014.

7.       Turn your garden into a movie theatre for the whole family. Get a projector outside, lay out the rugs, scatter some cushions and start popping some corn under the stars. Gather everyone around to watch some of the best movies of 2013 or just some old classics.

8.       Head to your neighbourhood park and get everyone to bring their favourite sports equipment. Have fun getting some exercise and reminiscing about your team’s highs and lows last season.  Badminton, boules, touch rugby, frisbee or cricket are all easy things to pack up with a picnic and walk to a grassy spot.

9.       Give back to others. Find a local organisation or charity that you could volunteer with that may be providing New Year’s Eve meals or other support to those less fortunate.

10.   Be the influence and create some change. Make a pact with your group of friends to go out and not overdo it. Have the confidence that you don’t need lots of alcohol to have a good time, embrace who you are with and the excitement of what is going on around you. Less time in the bar queue means more time on the dance floor. Plus it will burn off some Christmas calories!

*Taken from ‘Drinking cultures and social occasions: Alcohol harms in the context of major public holidays, sporting and cultural events’; Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre project funded by VicHealth.

Note: The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommends for healthy men and women, drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion.

About the Be the Influence – Tackling Binge Drinking initiative

Binge drinking imposes a huge toll on communities throughout Australia, with alcohol contributing to the three leading causes of death among adolescents – unintentional injuries, homicide and suicide.

The Australian National Preventive Health Agency’s Be the Influence – Tackling Binge Drinking initiative, part of the Australian Government’s National Binge Drinking Strategy, aims to encourage a more responsible attitude towards alcohol consumption and challenge the acceptability of binge drinking.

For more information, please visit: or the Be the Influence – Tackling Binge Drinking Facebook page at:

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