Alcoholism and the Expat Lifestyle

According to the BBC News website an estimated 5.5million British people live permanently abroad – nearly 1 in 10 of the UK population. Since 2005 an average of 2,000 British citizens moved permanently away from the UK every week.

It is naturally assumed that by moving abroad you will benefit from higher pay, better tax rates, improved prospects and an all round better lifestyle, however there is also a much less documented consequence to the expat lifestyle, which is being kept under wraps – alcoholism.

As most people’s experience of living abroad is limited to the few weeks a year they spend on holiday, the shock reality of living and working in a new country is sometimes very different, and much more of a shock to the system even though the internet has meant that moving to a new country is not quite as much of a psychological leap.

It is strongly ingrained in the British psyche that sunshine is a green light for excess. As Brits typically spend nine months of the year looking forward to a few days of sunshine in the summer, when they arrive we tend to celebrate in style. This is the number one reason the rate of the alcoholism is disproportionately high among ex pats, in particular, those that find themselves living permanently in places which are traditionally regarded as holiday destinations.

However, there are numerous other factors which contribute towards a rise in alcoholic expats. People are away from their families and friends and are without access to the same network they were surrounded by back home. As the opportunity to make new friends revolves around bars and other entertainment venues, a lifestyle that becomes a habit very quickly.

Camino Recovery Centre offers addiction treatment for families, counselling for alcohol and drug abuse as well as treatment for depression and anxiety.

If you have concerns about drinking and alcoholism for yourself, a friend or family member, please contact Meena Lavender in confidence at the

Camino Recovery Centre on +44 207 558 8420 or visit


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