Holidays are a cheerful time for families, but an be challenging for those in recovery. It’s also a time when addicts find that their struggles with substance abuse are intensified. They often struggle to stay away from people and situations that enabled their addiction. The holiday season can provide an increase in temptation for anyone with substance abuse issues.
The holidays can be a time when drug addicts and alcoholics want to ignore their condition. They want to participate fully in the family gatherings, parties and time with friends. This can often result in them returning to their life of addiction. The thought of experiencing the struggles associated with leaving their addiction is too much for some addicts. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control showed that many suicides by addicts over the holiday season resulted from a relapse of substance abuse. Over 32 percent of addicts who committed suicide had excessive amounts of alcohol while over 8 percent had a positive test for cocaine.
The holiday season is also a time when friends and relatives must work together to help a loved one battle addiction. Many recovering addicts become depressed because they aren’t financially able to purchase gifts for other people. Friends and family can step in and help by reassuring the addict they understand the situation. When seldom seen relatives are visiting, it may be best to work together to avoid uncomfortable conversations. Most addicts are very sensitive to criticism of their situation. It’s a time for understanding. It’s most important that families not ignore the user’s situation, but accept it. When a family helps an addict to successfully navigate the holidays, the recovery process will be easier and more successful.
As much of a challenge as the holidays can be for a recovering addict, they can also be fun. With the right attitude, addicts can find ways to enjoy themselves. They can refuse to worry about financial problems and focus more on enjoying time with family and friends. A holiday season experienced with sobriety may offer many positive experiences. They may enjoy the holidays in an entirely new way. Opportunities may become available for friends and family to also enjoy their loved one without the struggles with substance abuse.
If you need more information about struggles with substance abuse during the holidays, call us at 1-913-755-4357 today.