How Addiction Affects Christmas

mental health at ChristmasMost of us will admit to eating too much, drinking too much, lowering our inhibitions and even trying new things when we get carried away during the festive period. Typically, aside from the inevitable hangover, this doesn’t lead to any serious or long-term consequences. Anyone fighting a drug, alcohol, gambling, eating or sex addiction however, can find Christmas to be incredibly painful, difficult and dangerous.

With increased temptation and the prospect of certain behaviours going unnoticed amid the general merriment, many addicts can find themselves at breaking point during the holidays. Pete is a crystal meth addict who is currently receiving treatment at another rehabilitation centre unaffiliated with Life Works. In an interview with The Guardian he said,

“Christmas is a very difficult time for me, it’s always the most dangerous. If you’ve had a lot of losses, it’s a very sad time so you think it’s easier to make sure you have a pipe packed. At the same time, everyone’s drinking around you and using all sorts of recreational drugs because they’re off work - it’s very seductive.”

Gary, a recovering alcoholic has also spoken out about his struggles during the holidays:

“Even now, after six years of being sober, I think ‘well, it’s Christmas, why can’t I just have a couple of drinks and soak up the atmosphere?’ As a recovering alcoholic though, I can’t - otherwise the slippery slope I have slid down so often in the past will start once more.”

Christmas can also be a very difficult time of year for those suffering with an eating disorder. Those who are trying to hide the problem are faced with distressing thoughts of how they’re going to do this with all the family around and those in recovery are going to struggle with the prospect of being faced with much larger than usual quantities of food.

If you are struggling with an addiction or other mental health issue this Christmas, we offer help and information. For information on the condition please check out our Knowledge Centre. To get help you can contact us today.

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