This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
Christmas is a silly time to take drugs. Your family is around, your nose is full of cold and physically incapable of allowing anything in or out, and you've spent all your money on scented candles and phenomenally expensive soap for family members who don't really need scented candles or a major upgrade to their soap.
So, in reality, thinking totally pragmatically, drugs are the last thing you should be doing during the festive period. But all those hastily-organised "Christmas drinks" don't really lend themselves to pragmatism, and chances are you're not going to let the addition of some decorations to the street-lamps outside the pub affect your decision-making five pints in.
With that in mind, here's a handy set of dos and dont's that you can take heed of, or just completely forget about on the night and then remember vividly and painfully the following morning, wetness in your eyes and vomit creeping up your throat, as you google, again, for the hundredth time this year, "why am I such a prick".
DON'T TAKE DRUGS AT THE WORK DO
Unless your boss is a genuine friend – beers-on-the-weekend-level; a WhatsApps-you-pictures-worthy-of-an-HR-assessment kinda friend – don't turn up and offer them a line. It comes across as desperate, and if your boss is a square it will get you fired, or at best mean you have to sit through a disciplinary and go to a weekly counselling session with a man called Greg who thinks he knows more about fun than you.
Generally, unless you work in music, advertising or finance – all industries whose workers depend exclusively on class A drugs to get them through the day – drugs at the work do just aren't worth it. If you absolutely must, hang on until everyone's shit-faced, do your thing, and then eventually think about seeking some sort of professional help because it sounds like your habit is turning into a problem.
DON'T TAKE CLASS A DRUGS WHILE YOUR FRIENDS ARE COOKING YOU CHRISTMAS DINNER
Have you ever had a pre-Christmas Christmas dinner with friends? It's a magical thing that becomes nigh-on impossible to organise as you get older. Think of it as like Christmas dinners with your family, except everyone gets on and nobody says anything problematic about Uber drivers.
If your host is taking a day out of their lives, at literally the busiest time of year, to pour sweat, care and tenderness into a lavish lunch, the likes of which you will never have the skills to create, don't turn up, drink three Tyskies and start on the gear you've got left over from the weekend.
If you do this and end up sitting there during lunch, not hungry, pushing potatoes around a plate and insisting that everyone listen to Head Automatica because you've just remembered you liked them when you were 15 and want everyone to know about it in detail, you are the worst and do not deserve the friends you have.
DO NOT INCLUDE WEED IN THAT PIECE OF ADVICE ABOVE
Little known fact: weed can make you hungry! Which helps when you have multiple plates full of starch doused in liquified animal fat to get through.
DON'T GET STUCK INTO CLASS A DRUGS ON CHRISTMAS EVE
During your twenties, Christmas Eve is the best night of the year: you go to the pub that used to serve you underage; you spot the man who has not moved from his bar stool in nearly two decades; you talk to a range of acquaintances from your childhood and everybody lies about not drinking too much so they're not hungover the next day. At 10PM you see an old fling; you ask about each other's parents and share a private joke from when you were together. It's not weird between you – you've both moved on; it's nice. That's the thing: Christmas Eve is nice, and though you do feel like shit the next morning, you and mum laugh about it – "Wouldn't be Christmas without a hungover Jerome!" – and by the time it gets to midday you're enthusiastically re-filling your Prosecco and showing your aunt how Tinder works.
So don't then fuck it all up by conspiring with your mates to get some "some bits" delivered to The Albion just before they ring the bell for last orders.
"When I was 21 I went out on Christmas Eve with my mates," says Dan, from Maidstone. "We weren't planning to get anything in, but at 10PM my dealer called saying he was in town and that he had some stuff. We were pissed by then so quartered a gram, but he also gave me a bunch of pills. 'Christmas present,' apparently. We ended up back at Stan's garage until 5AM. I was supposed to be helping with Christmas dinner the next day, but spent all day lying in bed with the worst comedown. My parents ignored me all day. Eight years later they still bring it up. Fair enough, really."
DO GIVE YOUR DEALER A BREAK OVER CHRISTMAS
Your dealer might have a mainline to the least adulterated "flake" in the South East (15 percent purity! Less than 90 percent cow worming medication!), but they also have a family. Leave them alone.
"You'd be surprised how many people call you on Christmas Day," says Simon, a small-time dealer based in Brighton. "It's always the ones who don't go back to families, and they call about 7PM, every time. They've done dinner and started getting properly drunk. They're always apologetic. I'm like: 'It's fine, I get it, but I am sitting here with my nan.'"
DON'T GIVE ANYTHING 'A TASTE' THE NIGHT BEFORE NYE
You'll be getting texts from Boxing Day telling you to get your orders in for NYE, and once you speak to a dealer they, of course, will try to make you pick up earlier.
The best approach is not to listen to them whatsoever. Do not buy drugs on the 30th of December. People do nothing but go to the pub on the 30th, and when they know there's a veritable pharmacy of mediocre drugs underneath their bedside lamp at home, the temptation to go back and "have a taste" is all-consuming. This, like every decision you make after a full day of drinking, is a terrible one.
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