Turning Point offers advice for those struggling to cope with Christmas drinking

News item posted: 17 March 2017

Turning Point is offering advice for those who find that the festive period makes it harder for them to manage their relationship with alcohol. 

Jay Stewart, Director of operations for Substance Misuse at Turning Point, explained:

"Moderate drinking can be part of the fun of Christmas but drinking heavily on successive days can affect your enjoyment. Heavy drinking can make it harder to enjoy time with family, can affect your relationships, and can have a serious effect upon your mood.

"However, at this time of year, many people feel that alcohol is difficult to avoid. Some people feel under pressure to drink, while others may feel that they have too many reasons to do so. We've put together some tips to help people in this situation."

Jay has this advice:

 

If you feel under pressure to drink at Christmas

If you're drinking with friends or family, then remember that they care about you. They would hate to put your wellbeing at risk, and will almost certainly be understanding if you want to limit your drinking. If you have social commitments where drinking is expected, then find yourself an excuse to leave early - a family commitment, another social engagement, or you could arrange to be picked up.

 

If you think you're using the festive season as an excuse to drink

If you drink every day 'because it's Christmas,' then think carefully about why you want to drink. For example, many people use alcohol to boost self-confidence, to cope with stress or to make social situations more enjoyable. However, heavy drinking can make these problems worse, by interfering with important chemicals in your brain. Try to think of alternatives, such as asking a friend for support, tackling the causes of stress directly, or attending events with a friend.

 

If you feel you need help to drink less, or you feel that someone you care about needs help.

If you feel that you cannot not drink, if others complain about your behaviour when you drink, or if drink makes it hard to do some of the things others expect of you, then some confidential assistance might help. There's absolutely no shame in this, and doing so does not mean that you will need to go to rehab, or become teetotal. Many people benefit from just a handful of sessions.

 

If you worry about your drinking, your GP can direct you to services in your area that can help. Alternatively, call Drinkline on 0300 123 1110 (Mon-Fri 9 am - 8 pm, weekends 11 am - 4 pm), or visit drinkaware.co.uk