Blog

Life Happens. We’re here to help.

Addiction & the Holiday Season

c8f1a41f3e2c3455acb2630c0a075adb
Share:

When you think about the holidays, what comes to mind? Friends, family, food, gifts, and celebrations? The usual cheerful season is painted in a different light for those suffering through drug and alcohol addiction. Family gatherings are overshadowed by the many consequences of addiction. People with addiction often continue their spiral of abuse unnoticed. Additionally, those in recovery often flirt with relapse during this season.

 

Why is Relapse Common During the Holidays?

The stress from the season’s high expectations typically distract us from and saturate holiday festivities. The stress can hinder an individual’s judgement or spark a battle with depression – a common factor in alcohol and drug addiction. The holiday season also has many qualities that often lead to escalating addictions, such as:

  • Family pressures
  • Financial stress
  • Parties that include alcohol and drugs
  • Colder or unpleasant weather like rain, snow, wind, etc.
  • Feelings of anxiety, depression or loneliness

The holiday season is the perfect situation for someone struggling with addiction to blend into the crowd. Alcoholic cheers are frequently present and encouraged at family feasts and New Year’s celebrations. Coworkers let loose at company holiday parties. It can be the perfect storm.

 

Celebrating Sober Holidays For Those In Recovery

The heightened stress and parties during the winter months throw a lot of triggers that can threaten relapse. If you are coping with an addiction during the holiday season, here are a few tips to avoid relapsing:

  • Stay Alert – Get plenty of sleep, eat right, and remember to take a breath when things get too stressful.
  • Say No To Pressure – Turn down a few party invitations if you know they’ll be saturated with drugs and alcohol.
  • Buddy Up – When you go to any holiday events, it might be a good idea to bring along a friend who is also in recovery or just someone who fully understands the situation and supports the actions you are taking to remain sober during this time. Not to mention, having a buddy by your side will help curb anxiety, a leading cause of relapse.
  • Call Your Sponsor – If you feel like you might crack under all the holiday pressure, it’s never a bad time to call for support. Odds are, your sponsor has gone through many holiday seasons and dealt with many similar pressures.

If you or a family member is suffering with an addiction this holiday, do not hesitate to reach out to EFR. As a benefit to your company’s Employee Assistance Program, we offer confidential counseling for drug and alcohol abuse. Contact a counselor by calling 800-327-4692 anytime.

If you do not have EFR’s Employee Assistance Program, we offer compassionate counseling and Substance Abuse Services specializing in assessing and treating those affected by substance use disorders.

 

(Content pulled from Addiction & The Holiday Season E-Book: Read More Here)

Related Posts

How to Raise Financially Responsible Children: Tips to Cultivate Good Savings and Spending Habits

Instilling good savings and spending habits in our kids will enable them to navigate the complex world of money with confidence and security. In this blog, I will share practical tips which include creating a savings plan, importance of budgeting, investing and leading by example, which will help you to create a solid foundation for their children’s financial well-being.

Read More

How Counseling Helps You Thrive

Whether to find immediate relief or cultivate lasting change, counseling can be a transformative tool. Let’s unravel how counseling can catalyze positive change, demystify myths and misconceptions, and explore strategies to get the most out of counseling.

Read More

Leading with Mental Health in Mind

As a leader, you’ve most likely received training on the technicalities of your job. But this rarely includes guidance on one of your most critical roles: supporting the well-being of your team members. With the toll of sustained stress and uncertainty weighing on your team members, mental health is no longer a buzzword. It’s a foundational strategy for a productive, healthy, engaged workforce. Let’s explore the critical role of mental health in our professional lives and how leaders can step up to create space for their people to thrive.

Read More

Maddox

Student Assistance Program (SAP) & Outpatient Counseling

Maddox*, an elementary-aged student, struggled with anger outbursts, physical aggression, and difficulties with problem-solving. After spending years off-and-on in therapy seeking treatment with various providers only to remark that “none seemed to want to listen,” Maddox’s parents sought SAP services through their district. 

Today, Maddox is completing his SAP sessions and moving towards outpatient counseling. He has reduced his anger outbursts and has learned skills to help him successfully navigate challenging days.

Skip to content