Kathryn Eutsler, Ozarks News Brief

SPRINGFIELD – If you find yourself drinking more alcohol than usual as the weather gets colder, you’re not alone. Studies show  alcohol consumption goes up during the holidays.

Tyler Coleman is a local bartender. He says as the holidays get closer, he hears some stories that make him scratch his head, literally.

“I‘ve heard plenty of interesting stories,” said Coleman.

According to a study by Alcohol Monitoring Systems, people drink more during this time of year. But that doesn’t necessarily mean bars are busier around the holidays; it’s that they look a little different.”

“Some people that don’t drink year round, they’ll cut loose. Yeah, they’ll get some drinks, ya know… tis the season, they got that bonus paycheck,” explained Coleman.

For others, like Zander Ingram, it’s pretty accepted that there’s plenty of drinking during holiday family gatherings.

Yeah, that’s why I like drinking with family so they can watch over us,” said Ingram.

Substance abuse counselor Heather Cornelison said the fact that drinking is so accepted during the holidays can sometimes be a problem, especially for people who struggle with drinking too much.

“A lot of times, people will say if you have a problem, don’t go near it. Well, that’s your family. That’s your tradition,” expressed Cornelison.

So, if you have a drinking problem, what’s the holiday strategy? Corenlison said, “just talk about it.”

“It’s about how do they have conversation with family, prior, to say, ‘here’s what i need,’ and then having to make the decision, ‘should I be around this,’ or ‘if i am, how can i reduce the risk?'”

Other advice to avoid over-drinking includes writing down what drinks you’ve had on your phone or just leaving the room if the people in that room start drinking.