Drinking and Drugs at Christmas

Drinking and Drugs at Christmas: Staying Strong

The holiday season brings joy to many but can trigger those struggling with addiction. With plentiful parties and increased stress, people in recovery face tempting situations. Understanding triggers and getting support provides the best chance for staying sober.

The average Brit drinks almost 10 times more over the holidays – up to 26 units daily versus 18 units weekly. Drugs like cocaine and ecstasy are common at festive events. Those in recovery often hide relapse from loved ones to “save” Christmas.

Mitigating Holiday Drinking

The UK guidelines recommend less than 14 alcohol units weekly, spread over 3+ days. Binging causes health risks.

  • Eat before/during drinking
  • Set limits and stick to them
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic
  • Drink slowly
  • Avoid mixing alcohol with medications

Heavy drinking can also worsen anxiety and depression. Supportive friends and family help avoid isolation during vulnerable times.

Dodging Drug Temptation

Triggers for illicit drug use peak at holiday parties and events. Avoiding or limiting time around users reduces exposure to temptation.

Common triggers include:

  • False confidence – It’s easy to overindulge when others are using. Stay vigilant.
  • Loneliness – Isolating allows substance abuse to fill voids. Stay connected.
  • Discomfort – Difficult family interactions provide excuses to use. Set boundaries.
  • Stress – Holiday pressures lead some to “relax” with drugs. Reduce commitments.

Maintaining Sobriety at Work Events

Many feel obligated to drink at company celebrations. But social pressure shouldn’t outweigh personal health.

To stay sober:

  • Skip alcohol completely
  • Alternate drinks
  • Eat before and during
  • Avoid rounds of drinks
  • Plan transportation ahead

Health Risks of Heavy Drinking

Beyond embarrassment and career impacts, excessive alcohol has serious health effects. Heavy drinking increases the risk of several cancers, including breast, mouth and bowel.

Seeking Treatment and Support

For those struggling, many treatment facilities offer holiday programming. 12-step programs like AA also provide sober social events. Outpatient counseling provides continued care.

Having a sobriety plan reduces stress when challenges arise. Identify triggers, avoid high-risk situations, connect with sober friends, and seek medical help if needed. With proper care, joy can still be found this holiday season.

Photo by Eugene Zhyvchik on Unsplash

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

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