Holidays hardest time of the year for Bexley addicts

PUBLISHED: 09:17 21 December 2012

A person drinking beer

A person drinking beer

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Christmas is traditionally the season to be jolly. But for people who suffer from drug and alcohol addictions, it can be one of the hardest times of the year. Robin Cottle spoke anonymously to one recovering alcoholic and one reformed drug addict about how their problems are brought to the fore in December while everybody else is seemingly enjoying the festivities. Specialist doctor Dr Neil Santamaria who works two mornings a week at Erith-based addiction help and advice service Signpost, also offers his advice to people who feel vulnerable at this time of year.

Recovering alcoholic

The holidays are an incredibly hard time of the year – temptation is all around you.

Luckily I’ve got a supportive family around me and joining Signpost and Bexley Advice and Guidance Resource for Alcohol a couple of years ago has made all the difference. I spend Christmas with my dad and sister and they’re fully supportive of my addiction. My mum died about five years ago which triggered a breakdown so that makes things a bit harder.

Despite having high-powered jobs for most of my life, I’ve been a functioning alcoholic since I was 15. When my mum died I really stopped coping. I didn’t think there was anything else to live for. I’d been so close to her and couldn’t be with her when she passed away. Detox only works in the short-term. It’s up to me to stay on the wagon. I’m working part-time in a drugs and alcohol clinic which is really helping me get my life back on track.

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