NEW YORK -- Jennifer Perry isn't much of a drinker. Never has been, yet she's ready every New Year's Eve for the inevitable attention when she's out trying to have a good time.
"I don't care if everyone at the table orders a drink but me. That's fine," said Perry, 46, a singer in Atlanta. "What I do resent is being pressured, and then being asked is it a 'religious thing' or if I have a 'problem.' "
Sometimes, she relies on: "Oh, thank you, but I'm still on methadone." While not true, a quick apology usually ensues and the pesky prober moves along.
Whether in recovery or not interested for other reasons, the holidays often mean an excess of booze and drugs. Occasional drinkers fail to moderate and addiction programs around the country note upticks in patient loads soon after the new year, high season for relapsers and those seeking treatment for the first time.