Endless Spanish lockdown drives Brit expats to drink and drugs

Published:  17 Apr at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain, UK, England
British expats in Spain are struggling with mixed emotions during the lockdown.

Along Spain’s spectacular Mediterranean coastline, British expats are struggling to cope with a mixed bag of emotions including homesickness and depression as well as seeing the protective lockdown as imprisonment without a warrant. At the same time, Britons at present in the UK are desperate to get back to Spain, even if it’s only for a holiday. As a result, a good number including older expats living alone are now resorting to alcohol or even drugs to lessen their fear and pain and help them sleep at night.

One Valencia-based Welshman told local media he’s struggling to cope and has used cannabis as well as sleeping tablets to relieve his stress. He added he’s never used either before, but can’t cope with his situation any other way. He says he now understands and is feeling sorry for prisoners in 24-hour isolation, as it’s a means of mental torture, and is determined to move back to the UK as soon as it’s allowed. Brexit, he said, was bad enough, but he feels this is far, far worse.

One female expat who splits her time between Newcastle and Fuengirola told reporters she’d intended to return to the UK in early March, but by then all regular flights had been discontinued. She’d considered joining a repatriation flight, but decided ticket prices were just too high to justify. She’d never dreamed Spain’s lockdown would continue for such a long time and is now drinking three bottles of Spanish red wine every day just to get through. She’s well aware her habit is almost out of control, but hates herself for not getting out when she had the chance, however much it cost.

Another expat confessed to drinking at least 20 large cans of lager every day as he feels isolated and trapped as well as bored. He’s scared to go out in case someone treats him like a criminal, and watching TV all day is too depressing. He added life in Spain had been his dream, but the dream has now turned to a nightmare.

One elderly expatriate living in Alicante has a herniated disk and can’t take care of himself or walk any distance. He’s now suffering from high blood pressure caused by the stress and depression of the lockdown and still has no-one to help him. The expat predicament isn’t helped by the fact that British holidaymakers seem now to be desperate to book their next visit to enjoy the region’s beaches, bars and endless sunshine.
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