Four Ways To Support Your Colleague’s Addiction Recovery During The Busy Christmas Period

December is always a hectic time of year when it comes to work. There are deadlines to meet before the break, there’s the Christmas parties, and then all the other socialising you have to do too. That’s on top of sorting your own personal plans out. Needless to say, it can be stressful.

That’s especially the case for people who have other challenges to think about, most notably illness or addiction. Alcohol addiction is rife these days, and during the Christmas period you get more people entering an alcohol treatment centre following relapse than any other time of year. Which is why it’s so important to those who are in recovery and want to keep it that way.


It may well be the case that colleagues at work are in that position, and at the likes of Christmas parties and in the workplace, there’s little support to help them concentrate on remaining sober, as the drinks get poured at parties.

So, what can you do to support your colleague’s addiction recovery during this busy time?

Be open, honest and supportive towards them

Firstly, the most simple and the most effective way to support them is to tell them that you are there for them. By communicating openly, they’ll know that you are there to help and may be more comfortable in discussing any worries that they may have.

It’s effectively removing what some would believe to be an elephant in the room and let your colleague know that their sobriety is a priority not just for them, but for the colleagues that love and support them too.

Be mindful of potential triggers

Alcohol will be around at Christmas in the workplace, that’s just going to be the case. However, you can be mindful of it and maybe be a little more discreet in where it’s left or not make an entire event revolve around it.

What’s more, in the workplace, stress can be a huge trigger, so ensure that your colleague is supported for any tight deadlines or big pieces of work that need completing before the Christmas break.

Plan alcohol free celebrations

If you can control the celebrations, then you may want to do something with colleagues that doesn’t revolve around alcohol. That doesn’t necessarily need to be the main Christmas party, after all, many of your other colleagues will enjoy a drink, but you could do a separate one for a department, for example, that doesn’t have to be booze-fuelled.

It could be absolutely anything, from going bowling to getting crafty, enjoying ice skating to going for a winter walk. It really doesn’t matter as long as it’s something everyone will enjoy.

Provide non-alcoholic alternatives

While vegetarians always have to suffer when it comes to food at a Christmas party, the same applies to non-drinkers and the very limited choice of options for them. Don’t let that be the case this year and get plenty of options in for your non-drinking colleagues.

You could have a non-alcoholic cocktail bar, or simply get a range of 0% beers in. Give some priority to the soft drinks, and it’ll make all the difference.

Essentially, it’s all about making the most inclusive and comfortable environment for your colleague. Do that, and while they may still have the odd struggle, they know they’ve got you there to help them through it, as well as limiting the opportunity for it to become a struggle. Allowing everyone to celebrate the end of another working year together. As it should be.

Disclaimer: This article serves informational purposes exclusively. Business Upturn does not guarantee any specific outcomes. It is strongly recommended to seek advice from a healthcare professional before embarking on any activities mentioned herein.