In Britain, it's bottoms up from the week before Christmas till the last firework explodes in the sky announcing the new year. The last Friday before Christmas - popularly known as 'Mad Friday' - is one of the busiest periods for the country's pubs and clubs.
But it's not just the bars that get busy. Ambulances and A&E departments around Britain get packed out too. Head injuries, cuts, falls… it's easy to end up hurting yourself or others when inhibitions and composure disappear and your head is spinning due to alcohol. Revellers have been warned by the health authorities about the dangers of excessive drinking but indulgence seems to be part of the festivities for some.
The charity Alcohol Concern is running a campaign of abstinence by encouraging people to have a dry January.
Jackie Ballard, the charity's Chief Executive, believes the initiative has been successful in recent years. She says: "More than two-thirds of people even six months later are drinking at reduced levels having had a month off booze. But also a study has shown the impact it has on people's health reducing their blood pressure and blood sugar levels."
The study by the University of Sussex followed up nearly 900 participants in Alcohol Concern's Dry January campaign and found out that 72% of them had kept harmful drinking sessions down and 4% were still not drinking. Fears that a booze-free month would cause people to binge drink the next month didn't materialise.
Moderationseems to be the key to everything. The official recommendation for women is not to regularly drink more than more than 2 to 3 units of alcohol a day. That's no more than a 175ml glass of 13% ABV wine. The limit for men is 3 to 4 units of alcohol - no more than a pint of 5.2% ABV lager, beer or cider.