“I was taking drugs and drinking because I couldn’t cope with feelings about who I was, so I didn’t feel good enough. It was a survival strategy, and I think that’s true of anyone doing anything to excess – they can’t cope with who they are and they can’t cope with the world” (Russell Brand).

The most recent UK Government guidelines on alcohol consumption stipulate that it is safest not to drink more than 14 units per week on a regular basis. Recommendations on daily consumption stand at between three and four units for men and two to three for women[1]. When faced with the G.P’s question regarding weekly alcohol intake, how many of us are 100% truthful? A study published online in 2018 commented that patients regularly lie about their alcohol intake and that doctors double the answer. According to the study, only two in five members of the British public tell the truth when questioned by doctors about alcohol use[2]. When it comes to regular consumption of alcohol, findings appear to suggest that we can (and most certainly do) avoid the truth when confronted by health professionals.

In Western culture there are specific occasions when it is acceptable to consume above the average recommended daily amount. Examples include; Weddings, Christenings, Bar Mitzvahs and Funerals. There is also the one occasion that happens every year, the time when overindulgence in everything, from alcohol to food, to extravagant spending, is viewed as socially acceptable. Christmas. Preparations for Christmas festivities seem to begin earlier each year. Leading supermarkets fiercely compete for top viewings with the long awaited release of their annual Christmas television advert, whilst newly introduced marketing incentives such as ‘black Friday’ or ‘cyber Monday’ draw consumers further into the ideal of ‘The perfect Christmas’.

Then there is the matter of the annual office party. Who will drink the most and behave inappropriately? Which two people will end up in a hotel room together for the night? It is generally accepted that a handful of employees end up in a paralytic state following a more than generous helping of red wine and six or seven complimentary flaming sambucas. And let’s be honest, there’s always someone who tucks a few grams of coke in his inside pocket just to get the party going. Rumours about the CEO and a young Eastern European woman smoking crack cocaine in the back of a limousine parked at the rear of the hotel are rife, but soon extinguished by the gesture of a higher Christmas bonus than last year. It’s all okay though, it’s Christmas.

The overindulgence of food, alcohol, drugs, shopping and promiscuous behaviour are all somehow acceptable if they come under the umbrella of ‘Christmas’. But what if these behaviours begin to slip into the New Year, then sneakily into Spring whilst insidiously making themselves comfortable by the following Summer? Russell Brand insists that it’s not just those labelled as addicts who are struggling. Addictive behaviour is commonplace, whether we’re hooked on coffee, consuming, gambling, hoarding, TV or technology. ‘It’s a spiritual problem, people drink because it feels good. People buy too much because it feels good. People drive their cars fast; they do stuff for feelings. That’s somehow become abstracted from the idea of spirit and placed in the realm of the material, where it clearly cannot belong, and can never be resolved.[3]

Following the numerous Christmas and New Years parties, the calorie laden festive lunch, then Boxing Day and other various feasts and buffets, it is recommended that we take time to reevaluate our health (both physical and mental). Apparently, ‘on average we eat up to 6,000 calories on Christmas Day, this is four times the women’s daily allowance.[4]’ In addition to the food, there is the alcohol consumed over the holiday season. According to a study published by Boomerang in 2018, ‘the average Briton will consume an average of 26 units per day this Christmas, with the nation collectively expected to drink almost six billion units of alcohol between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.[5]

The essential values of environmental preservation, justice, and a society that supports an openly sustainable way of life appear to be abandoned in contemporary culture. Instead we are witnessing the domination of extrinsic values such as materialistic gain, self-interest and ambition. Christmas is just one example of excessive consumption which in turn will take a toll, not just on the pocket. Burning the candle at both ends in the run up to Christmas is likely to leave you feeling run down and overtaxed. You may start to notice symptoms such as lethargy, stiff and aching muscles and digestion problems. The human body can be resilient, our livers, kidneys, cardiovascular systems, and even our skin all work to expel toxins, however sometimes it all needs a little extra help. To ensure our future health and happiness, it is essential that we regain and maintain homeostasis and equilibrium.

Opting for that helping hand to come from One Detox will be one of the most life-changing decisions you’ve ever made. One Detox is part of Addcounsel’s Luxury Rehab’s package, but can also be utilised as a stand alone detox, perfect for cleansing your body from the excesses of Christmas. With intensive input from highly specialised health professionals, One Detox’s comprehensive and restorative approach will reinvigorate body and mind. During your stay with One Detox, we will conduct one of the most advanced health assessments in Europe, each member of our team perfectly placed to ensure that your period of excess hasn’t caused any long term damage, and offering you guidance on how best to regain a sense of internal balance.

We provide access to Consultant Radiologists, Physicians, Neurologists and Hepatologists. The hepatologist being particularly necessary after a period of extreme indulgence like Christmas. Following the excessive use of alcohol, the primary phase of injury to the liver is the build-up of fatty deposits. Approximately twenty percent of those with alcohol-related fatty liver will eventually develop alcoholic hepatitis, following on to cirrhosis. Many people with alcohol related liver damage are malnourished. Several factors are indicated and include: Loss of appetite, malabsorption of nutrients, poor diet, excessive use of energy to process alcohol which is devoid of nutritional value.

Malnourishment related to alcoholic liver disease may effect thiamine levels which helps the body convert carbohydrates into energy. A balanced diet with sufficient protein and carbohydrate, is essential. Results of liver screening are used to inform nutritionists at One Detox who work to provide a specialised diet, rich in all necessary nutritional components, vitamins and minerals suitable for your journey ahead.

Staying at One Detox will ensure that you give yourself the best chance for 2020 to be a year free of any mental or physical issues. It is also worth mentioning that if you feel like your life of excess has been a problem prior to the festive season, we can also offer our services at Addcounsel – an exclusive, luxury rehab clinic based in central London. For further details please visit our website.


[1] https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/alcoholic-drinks-units/latest-uk-alcohol-unit-guidance/ accessed 6/12/2019

[2] https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6973990/brits-lie-alcohol-intake-doctor-advice/ access 6/12/2019

[3] https://www.positive.news/society/were-all-on-the-scale-of-addiction/ accessed 6/12/2019

[4] https://evoke.ie/2018/12/26/food/a-calorific-christmas-how-many-calories-are-in-your-xmas-dinner accessed 6/12/2019

[5] https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2018/12/britons-to-consume-six-billion-units-of-alcohol-this-christmas/ accessed 2018