The whole festive season is synonymous with alcohol. Drink parties at work, boozy Christmas lunches, mulled wine at the carol service. The prospect of having a drink is everywhere you go, with people letting their hair down, enjoying the celebrations, and often over-indulging. For those trying to stay alcohol-free, it can seem almost impossible to avoid it.
Alcohol consumption shoots up during the holiday season, people drink above the recommended daily limits more at this time of year than at any other. Sadly, for some individuals, the consequences of excessive boozing can be damaging, dangerous and even deadly. Alcohol is a psychoactive substance that can cause problems both in the short and long term.
Alcohol influences changes in the body the moment it is ingested. It can cause drowsiness, a lack of coordination, loss of inhibitions, poor judgement, and bad choices. The government’s annual drink-drive campaign warns us of the tragedies that can occur from driving under the influence or being present in the car with someone who is intoxicated. Other disasters can include alcohol poisoning, accidents, arguments and even violence.
For long term or daily users, frequent binge drinkers, or those struggling with alcohol misuse disorder there are additional problems. Health complications such as damage to the organ’s – liver, kidneys, heart. Relationship troubles; disagreements with friends and family members. And serious financial issues like the loss of employment, and homelessness.
The expectations and obligations that surround the holiday season can also trigger an increase in other mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. These illnesses manifest challenges directly attributable to the specific disorder and can also lead to sufferers self-medicating with booze and drugs to combat or reduce symptoms.
This year again, for the second Christmas in a row, there are the additional difficulties brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Changes to the usual revelries worry about the spread of the virus, and loneliness for those forced to isolate themselves during what is traditionally a highly social season celebrated with friends and family.
The holidays are meant to be a joyous time spent with family and loved ones, but for some, the family home is not a safe place and can be the root cause of much distress and heartache. Whether the family is dysfunctional, or well-meaning, it can at times feel like there is an enormous pressure to act a certain way, behave in a particular manner or conform to what others expect.
A drunk loved one can, at best, create chaos and drama, and at worst, be violent, abusive, and controlling. In a season where excessive drinking passes as acceptable, it can leave those dealing with a drunk relation in fear of what is going to unfold and dreading the whole experience.
The season is also a reminder of grief and loss. For those without family – either due to death or estrangement – the season can be long, lonely, and overwhelming. The temptation to drown sorrows in a bottle, or by using prescription medication and illegal drugs, is huge.
For those struggling with alcohol misuse disorder, trying to stop or control intake is extremely difficult when it is all around. The added triggers of anxiety, stress and family drama can contribute to relapse for those in recovery. For those still trying to manage an alcohol problem on their own, it can be a very painful period.
It can be enormously tough to acknowledge that you, or someone you love, has a problem with alcohol. Some see alcohol misuse as a sign of weakness and assume that those who cannot manage their drinking simply have no self-control or willpower.
This is not the case, no amount of willpower is going to help a problem drinker; alcoholism is an illness and requires treatment. There are different options available, therapy, peer group fellowship meetings and rehabilitation clinics. Having someone to talk to about the underlying emotions and feelings that are associated with alcohol abuse, can be a key step in taking action to resolve the issue.
For someone with a serious alcohol problem, residential rehab may prove to be the best option. It gives the individual a chance to get away from any day-to-day issues and enables them to fully focus on their recovery. A well-established private rehab or specialised addiction centre will use a combination of therapy models to treat an individual’s primary and co-occurring conditions.
Are you dreading the holidays? Concerned about how your drinking is affecting your family? Or worried about being alone over the festive season trying to manage or control your problems with alcohol?
Here at our residential drug, alcohol, and addiction rehab centre in Ibiza, we can help. We offer bespoke inpatient treatments for a variety of psychological conditions including alcoholism, drug, and process addiction (food disorders, gambling, or codependency) as well as other mental health conditions such as trauma, anxiety, and depression.
For information on admissions contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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