Surviving Holidays and Special Occasions With Addiction

Whether you're gearing up for Thanksgiving, Christmas, a wedding, Easter or 4th of July. It can be stressful as it is to get the food prepared, everyone dressed and drive from to place to place. This stress can be excruciating for families of active substance abusers or recovering addicts. The thought of managing substance abuse issues while maintaining peace can be overwhelming—and mishandling these issues can lead to further alienation from the addict or a relapse for the recovering person. Most family members aren't sure how to act around people in recovery. It may seem hard to navigate special occasions with a loved one who is in active addiction and/or a loved one in early recovery.

Why does 'IT' always hit the fan around these occasions?

Reason #1-Even people who don't have a problem drink or celebrate more on these events, so it's double hard for you to resist.

Reason #2-So much STRESS. This naturally increases someones urge to use or drink.

• Have an escape plan in place!

If a situation arises at a family gathering, such as an argument or pressure from relatives to drink alcohol, the recovering person may feel tempted to relapse, and he or she needs to take corrective action as quickly as possible! Think about maybe not having these events at your own place so you can escape the situation. Or stay half the time of the event!

•Avoid situations where you or they will feel uncomfortable!

Hovering and acting awkward at family events is the worst thing to do! Tell people around you what your loved one needs. For the recovering: Let your mom or friend know that it's okay for them to drink around you, but have a line you'll use if others start to pressure you.

Relapses can be dangerous and are very very difficult to stabilize. Make strategic decisions about recovery. Have these plans in place before the time of the event to ensure there won't be a blow up!

Amber Hollingsworth,

Hope for Families Recovery Center

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