Addiction Help and Prevention During the Holidays

Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally holidays that are centered around the family. It’s customary for relatives, siblings, and parents to get together and have a large meal together. However, for those whose families are no longer together the holidays can be hard. This might be especially true for recovering addicts, who might feel that spending time with family is itself a trigger. For others, the idea of missing family, not having any relatives to celebrate the holiday with can be a trigger too.  There are a range of situations for many recovering addicts that make the holidays a challenging time of year.

For this rAddiction Help | LakehouseRecoveryCenter.comeason, the following is a list of tips that are meant to make this time of year a bit easier. It’s a list of tools for addiction help and prevention during the holidays.

Plan ahead.

Sometimes just thinking about the holidays can bring anxiety. The more planning you can do for yourself, the better. Think about how you can make this time easier. If you’re family is getting together but the idea of joining them is troubling, perhaps you can talk to a relative ahead of time and describe your situation. Or if you’re someone who misses being with family and the loneliness is a trigger, perhaps you can gather some friends together. Perhaps you can drive to a location where other recovering addicts might be. Getting addiction help for the holidays is possible, only it might require being creative. Once you’ve decided what you can and can’t do, share your decisions with friends and family.

Don’t Let Other People Determine What you Should or Shouldn’t Do

You don’t have to do what others think you should do. Give yourself the right to do what you want to do! Part of recovery and seeking addiction help is discovering and acting on your empowerment. Once you know what’s going to best serve your sobriety, share it with others and stick to your plan.

Accept limitations.

Some recovering addicts might be able to spend time with family, but with limits. For instance, perhaps old family celebrations always include a toast. Perhaps you need to drink something non-alcoholic. Or it might be the much of your family is using some form of drug – marijuana for instance – and you’ve decided not to participate. You can communicate your limitation to your family in an effort to stay true to your sobriety.

Be informed before attending events.

Find out who will be there, how long it’s expected to last, and whether there will be alcohol or other drugs. Brainstorm on how you might be able to attend without participating in the drugs and alcohol. Think clearly about what you’ll do if and when you’re tempted with a drink or a joint. Be prepared with your answer so that you’re not caught off guard.

Ask for help, even when it’s hard to do.

If it feels right, allow people to help in concrete ways such as being a sober companion at parties, driving you home when you are ready to leave, and encouraging your sobriety. Or you might need addiction help with processing your feelings about the upcoming holidays. Friends are there to help; you can rely on them for being a support in your sobriety and prevention of relapses.

Find time for rest.

The holidays can be emotionally draining, especially if you’re grieving old events or if this time of year reminds you of a history you’d rather not remember. As already mentioned, this time of year might easily be a trigger for drinking, drugging, and relapsing – but it doesn’t have to be. Find time for rest and quiet time for yourself. Remember to take good care of yourself during this time. Good self-care will support your ability to say no to any temptations from family or friends.

Although there might be some anxiety due to the upcoming holidays, the above addiction help tips are meant to stir ideas in you so that you can stay sober and healthy this holiday season.

Don’t Let Other People Determine What you Should or Shouldn’t Do


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