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Xmas Drinkchat

In the run up to the Christmas celebrations, we face the office Xmas party or catching-up with friends and family. There’s always an excuse to have a glass of alcohol in the festive season. How do you explain to a close friend or family member that they may be drinking too much and have a drink problem?


Alcohol by numbers

The experts estimate that in England 1.2% of adults are dependent drinkers. For men dependent drinking is most common among those aged 25-34; for women, problem drinking is aged 16-24. In 2017/18, there were an estimated 1.1m hospital admissions related to alcohol consumption in England, where an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition was the primary reason for the hospital admission. That’s mental.

What to do next?

If having an alcohol conversation with a clsoe friend or family member, then ensure the mood is right and avoid emotions. You need to be armed with as much information as possible, so you can offer facts and advice on where they can go to for support. However, that person needs to change their behaviour with alcohol themselves. That might mean having the same conversation with them two or three times before they accept that they do have a problem.

What to say and what to avoid?

Stick to positive language, such as:

  1. I wonder if you drunk less, then your well-being may improve.
  2. I've noticed that you aren't positive about life since drinking more. I'm not blaming you, but I'm concerned.
  3. Avoid making judgements, such as stating that you’re an alcoholic. This creates a circular conversation: No, I'm not; yes, you are.
  4. Best to keep questions open, such as I've noticed X, what do you think?

Call in the professionals

There are many drink related charities, offering a free service for anyone who is looking for information or advice about their own, or someone else’s, alcohol use. They offer confidential, accurate information and advice to callers, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or spirituality.

With less than a month away from a New Year, it’s easy to see close friends and family members pile up the drink units. What isn’t clear is the how it’s affecting their health and wellbeing. That's why having a drinkchat with family or close friend will help ensure that alcohol doesn’t ruin their 2020.

ChildMax pays your take home salary while you’re on 12 months’ unpaid leave looking after a sick child. Once agreed, ChildMax pays your claim within 30 days and you can choose to return to work on a part-time or flexible basis.

Visit at or call the UK call centre 0333 323 0098 for more information.

Important: If you feel that you have a problem with alcohol, please seek advice from your GP.


Date: 09 December 2019 by Max Robinson