The holiday season can be a joyous yet, stressful time of year especially for those who struggle with substance abuse. Addiction and the holidays can make falling back upon bad behaviors easy. There are a few simple and practical things that the addict can do to prepare for the holiday season to minimize relapse. The potential internal and social pressures to drink or use drugs during the holiday season might make it seem that relapse is inevitable but, it is not. It is possible to stay sober and work a recovery program during the holidays.

Here are a few suggestions on things one can do to combat addiction and the holidays.

  1. Always have a plan B. If possible take your own transportation to the event or gathering so, you can leave when you start to feel uncomfortable.
  2. Let your network know beforehand that you may need to call them for support during this time.
  3. Remember to take care of yourself. Don’t forget the important Acronym HALT which stands for Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, and Tiredness. These often-overlooked feelings can lead a person to relapse because they are not taking care of themselves.
  4. When possible avoid risky situations where the desire to drink or use may be too great
  5. Prepare your own drinks.
  6. Be mindful of what you are eating and drinking because you do not know how these items were prepared.
  7. Avoid isolation.
  8. Start your own holiday traditions and rituals.
  9. Limit the amount of time you spend with family and friends who really get under your skin.

If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction please feel free to inquire about our Early Recovery Group. If you need support to help you cope with the addiction of a loved one please contact our intake department. The intake department at Specialized Therapy Associates can be reached at (201) 488-6678.