With the festive season just around the corner, diaries are already filling up fast. Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for socialising, with office parties, festive catch-ups with family and friends, and other festivities dominating our calendars – all associated with Christmas drinking.

Providing a welcome break from the demands of everyday life, Christmas is also a great time to reflect, relax and celebrate. However, as festivities over the Christmas period often involve copious amounts of alcohol, this time of year can be particularly difficult for recovering addicts.

In fact, statistics released by Public Health England as part of their new campaign reveal the following:

  • Black Friday is the biggest drinking day of the year, with emergency services on high alert
  • Over the festive period, it is estimated that Brits will make 165 million trips to bars, pubs and clubs
  • Brits will spend approximately £2.31 billion on alcohol
  • 2 in 5 (40%) of people drink more than they usually would over the festive break

Why do people drink more at Christmas?

The vast majority of people will drink more at Christmas than any other time of the year, mainly due to the many festive social gatherings.

Christmastime can also be difficult for many. From financial worries and pressure to find the money to buy presents, to dealing with loss or a relationship breakdown, the festive season can be particularly challenging.

For many people, Christmas isn’t “the most wonderful time of the year” – and seeing other people spending time with their loved ones can often be triggering.

How to avoid a Christmas relapse

During the festive season, the expectation is that everyone should be having a good time and more often than not, that involves alcohol.

This can make the season extremely difficult for those suffering from alcohol addiction and heighten the challenges that come with living a life of sobriety.

But there are steps you can take to help avoid a Christmas relapse, including:

  • Stay committed to remaining sober and avoid temptations to drink
  • Always assess whether the event you will be attending is low, medium or high risk in terms of your likelihood of you relapsing
  • Enjoy festive events where alcohol isn’t present – there’s so much fun to be had over the festive season that doesn’t involve drinking
  • Socialise with like-minded people who are happy to support your journey
  • Throw your own party that doesn’t involve alcohol
  • Know your triggers and avoid them
  • Always lean on your support system if you need to and never be afraid to reach out for help.

At ANA, we work closely with our clients to help them rebuild their lives, gain confidence and self-worth, and believe that they can live a healthy, responsible, and productive life, free of addictive substances.

Contact ANA today, our friendly team is on hand and ready to help.