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AHS helping students strategize for booze-free holidays

Alberta Health Services wants Grande Prairie residents to know that saying “no” to alcohol won’t make the holiday season less enjoyable. As part of National Addictions Awareness Week, a group of addiction counsellors took to Grande Prairie Regional College to serve up and share recipes for mocktails for everyone to enjoy this holiday season.

“They can see that you don’t need alcohol to have a good time, and there are sober options available for the holiday season,” says Addiction Counsellor Sherri Carter.

Carter says many of the students she spoke to Wednesday were not only aware of the risks of alcoholism and other addictions, but many actively choose not to partake. However, for those who may be struggling with an addiction, AHS is reshaping its game plan into something more contemporary.

“Alcohol is really socially acceptable, so it’s really hard for people to just say no, that strategy doesn’t really work anymore,” says Carter.

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“Part of our strategy this year for National Addictions Awareness Week is ‘the stigma ends with me’,” Carter adds. “It’s okay to go to an event and say, ‘I don’t drink’.”

She hopes that people are able to talk about addictions throughout the holiday season in a frank manner and be able to celebrate someone saying, “no”.

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