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Addiction During the Holidays Can Be Stressful

Addiction During the Holidays - The Bergand Group

On Christmas and other holidays, it can be difficult to face loved ones if you are currently struggling from an addiction, or even if you are firmly planted in recovery. This time of year is stressful enough, but if you’re working through or around an addiction during the holidays, then you may need a little extra help.

Navigating an Addiction During the Holidays

There’s no question that the holiday season is a frenzied one for most people. Whether it’s cooking, cleaning, shopping, decorating, or just socializing, it can seem like an endless stream of activity. For those who are struggling with an addiction, all of this can be even more overwhelming. Even for those who are in recovery, having to face chatty relatives and holiday stress can seem like an enormous hurdle. So, how can you safely navigate this time of year?

First, it’s important to understand why these events are so difficult for those with issues of substance abuse. “For addicts, these same issues of money, family and general stress are amplified, often because they are the same age-old issues that lie at the root of the addiction and the beginning of drug use and abuse in the first place.” Being exposed to these kinds of situations again often bring a sense of anxiety and worse to the individual, particularly if they haven’t been able to work through some of these issues yet in recovery, or at all.

Unfortunately, this amplified stress can lead to the huge potential for a relapse. Cravings may be running high, and coupled with the likely presence of certain triggers, the patient is at great risk for falling back into old habits. Even people who are in recovery or who have worked through it in the past may find old issues rising to the surface and threatening their well-being once again. Those who are without the company of others are also at risk, given that they can face a deep sense of loneliness, isolation, and/or alienation. “Shame and boredom can drive addictive behavior,” and both can be generated by spending the holidays alone.

If a person is struggling with addiction during the holidays, what kinds of things might they face that threaten a relapse? For those whose struggle is more active, the person might have to put all of their energy into hiding the signs and symptoms of an addiction from others who are present. Again, too, since they may be in the presence of people who unintentionally drove the addictions’ development in the first place, it can be that much more difficult. Then, for those who are making active efforts to recover, it may be that those present are more interested in hiding that fact from others than in promoting the actual recovery. Once again, the shame that surrounds addictions can do serious damage to these positive efforts.

The best way to combat all of this, if you’re worried, is to prepare. Have subjects of conversation ready that you’re comfortable with. Have a way to leave early if you need a break. Carry a non-alcoholic beverage so that nobody feels the need to offer you a drink, if that’s an issue. Finally, bring someone that you trust and who is non-judgmental, if possible, to be your support. There are a lot of ways to navigate these waters, and we wish you the best.

If you need some professional help to get through an addiction during the holidays, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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