Holiday Triggers and Tips to avoid a holiday relapse

Twinkle lights all around, holiday songs playing on the radio, gatherings of friends and family… what’s not to love about the holiday season?!?!

It is, as the song goes, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” It is also a time of year when those who suffer from substance use disorder are more prone to relapse. Many treatment centers report seeing a spike in admissions shortly after the holiday season. While getting help is important, staying clean and sober is something we all wish for in recovery and, can be achieved if you can identify your triggers.

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Holiday Work Parties

A fun-filled night with coworkers that turns into the hangover of the century and embarrassing stories to be told on Monday morning. Raise your hand if this sounds familiar? While it’s true that holidays parties can be centered around alcohol and drugs, they don’t have to be.

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Giving Gifts

So you have 6 nieces, 5 nephews, 4 brothers, 3 sisters, 2 parents, and a partridge in a pear tree! That’s a lot of gifts to buy and the stress of that alone can push one over the edge. How are you going to buy all of those presents and still pay the bills?

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Family

While you may love your family members, some may not be as supportive of your recovery. Some may doubt your commitment, and some may be jealous because you are where they want to be. Maybe it’s just the actual family member’s home that makes you feel triggered because it’s a place you used to use. For others, it’s the lack of family. Loss of a loved one can be felt so strongly during the holidays and the sadness of not having them can lead you into poor decisions.

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The holidays can be a trying time for your recovery but, they don’t have to be. Keep yourself on track by identifying your triggers, making a plan, and leaning on your support system because that is what they are there for. This is YOUR holiday season and your recovery is the greatest gift you will ever give yourself.

Happy Holidays!

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