EastEnders’ Linda Carter is set to turn to alcohol as she struggles with the mounting pressure on her family.
The Carters have been faced with numerous challenges, from Mick’s false imprisonment and panic attacks to Ollie’s suspected autism and Linda’s latest cancer scare.
Despite trying to put on a positive front, the pressure begins to weigh heavy on Linda (Kellie Bright) and she starts drinking.
The BBC soap has been working with the organisation Drinkaware on the plot.
Executive producer Jon Sen said the Carters will be facing “one of their biggest crises to date”.
“Linda’s descent into alcoholism will be instantly recognisable to many – a journey that begins with a single drink to cope with the everyday ups and downs but quickly escalates to a point which wreaks devastation on their life and the lives of those around them,” he said.
“In telling Linda’s story we hope that anyone in Linda’s situation or those around them notice the signs of alcoholism and seek the help needed.”
Drinkaware’s chief executive Elaine Hindal said: “Feeling pressure to drink, having a drink to celebrate or drinking to cope or relax – these are all common situations that many adults would recognise.
“The fact is the overwhelming majority of people don’t have a serious problem with alcohol. But it might surprise you to know that you don’t always have to be drinking to extreme levels to become dependent on alcohol.
“What’s more, regularly drinking above recommended levels can lead to a range of health conditions.”
Ms Hindal said working with EastEnders on the plot would “put a spotlight on the potentially harmful result of getting into the habit of drinking regularly”.
“Credit to the scriptwriters who are sensitively showing the journey of how easy it can be for someone to develop risky drinking habits,” she added.
“Linda’s experiences with alcohol demonstrate why it’s important to be able to recognise signs that you, or someone you care about, could be developing drinking habits that could cause harm to themselves or others.”