Christmas can be a turning point for those suffering with addictions to seek treatment
It is often thought of as the season to be merry, but Christmas can be a challenging time of year for people suffering from an addiction. With the added difficulties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Christmas 2020 has been particularly painful time for many.
If you have been struggling with addictive behaviours, you may find that after the festive season, it feels like the right time to reach out for professional support. This is when many people realise and accept that they have issues with addiction, as they look to make a fresh start and move into the coming year with more positive intentions.
Coming to terms with having an addiction at Christmas
An estimated two million people in the UK are believed to suffer from an addiction of some sort. The four most common addictions can be especially difficult to cope with at Christmas:
- Recreational drugs
The stresses and strains of the festive season can bring problems with these addictions to the fore.
It can become very difficult for people to deal with the financial and consumer pressures of Christmas. Difficult family and relationship situations can be exacerbated too. There is also a pressure to be upbeat and act as the ‘perfect host', even within a smaller group as allowed by the current restrictions, and there is often a tendency to rely on alcohol for confidence in social situations, particularly in a year when many of us have become more familiar with being socially-distanced.
An over-reliance on recreational drugs may also present itself over the Christmas period, even as pubs and clubs are closed – many people are increasing their intake of narcotics from home this year to cope with the pandemic.
These drugs may appear to have desirable effects for users, with temporary feelings of pleasure, but they also come with a long list of potentially serious adverse effects. Many illegal drugs can result in serious mental health problems, with very damaging consequences for long-term health.
While the vast majority of people will come through Christmas unscathed, there will be those for whom it is a desperate time. Admitting to having a problem, and consequently seeking treatment, can be the first step towards being able to enjoy Christmas and the New Year in the future.