16 Dec 2021

Christmas in recovery

Whether you have been in recovery for years or if it’s relatively new to you, the festive season can be challenging. With families and friends gathering together for celebrations there is often a lot of temptation.

It is the party season and this means there will be a lot of people drinking alcohol and consuming drugs throughout this holiday period. If you live in the UK, you may be aware of the British drinking culture and how Christmas can often revolve around drinking.

However, it doesn’t have to be like that. Christmas is a time to celebrate family, relationships and love. It is about being present and having experiencing genuine emotions. It is about enjoying lots of delicious food. It is about reflecting on things in your life and looking at what you are grateful for. Surrounding yourself with people that you love and that reciprocate that back to you.

It Is important to remember that you are never alone in recovery. That even in difficult times where you might be surrounded by people who are drinking or using that there is a reason you aren’t. You need to remember why you started your recovery journey and what’s Important to you. Being around people who have your best interests at heart is also important.

Where to turn

If you find yourself unsure where to turn if you feel that you are struggling, here are some suggestions. There are many different support groups and helplines which will be available to you throughout the Christmas period.

There are meetings somewhere every day. There are even meetings on big celebration days such as Christmas eve, Christmas day, Boxing Day and New Years Eve. It is important that you protect yourself and your sobriety. It might be that the best way for you to feel safe and comfortable is to attend meetings on these difficult days. Many people who struggle with addiction, especially in the first few years of recovery go to support groups on Christmas and celebration holidays to be safe and be around likeminded people. There is less of a risk of something bad happening if you protect yourself.

As well as support groups, try to get a sponsor and turn to them if you are struggling or finding certain situations hard. They are there to help and support you.


Find meetings and events on Al-anon’s website listed below:




Join CA at their New Year’s Globathon (31st December- 1st January 2022)

‘Come be a part of Online Service Area's first annual New Year's Globathon. It's a time and safe space for newcomers and the rest of our valued fellowship to spend New Year's Eve and New Year's Day via Zoom. We're having back-to-back meetings with diverse speakers within our global village sharing our global solution of recovery, multiple New Year's Eve countdowns based on time zones, workshops, open mic hour, games, a raffle, fellowship, and keynote speakers.’


NA have loads of meetings and events taking place throughout the festive season including Christmas day. Follow the link below to find one closest to you:



AA also offer meetings throughout the holiday period. Just enter your postcode to find one nearest to you:



Find lots of useful resources on the Samaritans website. Samaritans provides emotional support for anyone who’s struggling to cope, who needs someone to listen without judgment or pressure. By phone, text and in person in branches across the UK, they are there 24 hours a day.

Call 116 123.

Via email:  jo@samaritans.org is free.

In person: Visiting us face-to-face in your local branch is free. As well as this, Rehabs UK are always just a phone call away. Get in touch with our staff if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction.