It is not only joy and goodwill that epitomize Christmas and the New Year. It is also stress, unrealistic expectations, letdowns, tension and, not least, drinking and partying.
This can be one of the worst times of the year for someone with alcohol issues: office parties, family parties, neighbours' parties; it goes on and on. Then comes January and the New Year, with bleak days and broken promises. For some the merriment of Christmas and the New Year masks a much deeper problem: a dependency on alcohol that can easily be passed-off as over-indulgence.
The Priory Hospital receive 20%* more enquiries to their addictions unit in January than many other times of the year. Dr Mark Collins Lead Consultant Addictions at the Priory said: " this is not a surprise, if people have been struggling to maintain some normality while aware at some subconscious level that their drinking is out of control, Christmas and the New Year gives them the freedom to indulge when normal life wouldn't." He went on to comment that many people make it through the tensions of Christmas and then binge drink through January: "this is when we see an increase in enquiries for help."
He added that, "someone with alcohol issues would find it very difficult to manage on their own and they really need support. Even if they have made it through the holiday period January leaves many people feeling low. If they or any of their families think that there is an issue they should seek help immediately to stop the downward spiral that January can bring on." He did stress however that it is not only this time of year but that there are many reasons that drive alcohol addictions and they can happen at any time of the year."
Dr Mark Collins is Lead Consultant Addictions at the Priory Hospital Roehampton. The Priory Hospital provides a confidential free assessment with highly qualified Addictions Therapists for people seeking help; and wanting to discuss their treatment options.
The addiction Treatment programme includes a combination of inpatient, outpatient and day therapy. It involves physical and psychiatric examination, individual and group therapy, educational lectures and workshops, holistic activities, a family participation programme, six weeks of extended care and a one-year aftercare support group.