The holiday season is upon us with all its festivities and traditional celebratory parties with rich foods and sweets and alcoholic drinks. For those who don’t have a substance abuse problem, temperance is the best way to deal with it, not engaging in excessive consumption and thereby putting oneself and others at risk. But for a person who has survived addiction to drugs or alcohol and is now sober, the holidays can present some risks and special challenges in maintaining hard-won sobriety.
Holiday Challenges to Sobriety
The holidays can be challenging to us all, but for a person in recovery the pressures of family get-togethers, increased financial demands and social gatherings that usually include alcohol and oftentimes drugs can act as a source of triggers for relapse.
Although many in the field of drug rehabilitation and in society at large consider addiction a disease with no cure, those working at Narconon believe that a person can completely recover from addiction to drugs and alcohol and go on to live drug-free and productive lives.
According to John Walser, a Senior Intake counselor at the Narconon Freedom Center, the Narconon drug rehab program includes Life Skills Courses and training which help each person doing the program to locate their personal triggers and how to deal with them. The Narconon New Life Detoxification component of the rehab program acts to rid the person’s body of drug residuals and toxins which when eliminated act to reduce drug cravings.
With the knowledge and experience gained from helping people reclaim their lives from addiction, Narconon Freedom Center is offering 5 tips to those in recovery to aid them in dealing with the challenges of the holiday season and helping them to maintain their sobriety.
5 Tips to Stay Sober
The following tips can help a person in recovery cope with potential holiday triggers, and stay sober.
1. Take Care of Yourself
Get enough rest and sleep, eat nutritious foods (with a few holiday treats now and then), and if things get too stressful take a deep breath. Weather permitting, it would be even more therapeutic in relieving stress to take a walk and look the environment while doing so.
2. Say No
Say no to situations which are potentially dangerous to sobriety, such as invitation to parties which may be loaded with drugs and alcohol. It is your right to say “no thank you” despite any pressures to do otherwise. Choose other holiday activities which are enjoyable and safe.
3. Create your own non-alcoholic drinks.
In so many holiday social gatherings, drinking and toasting the New Year in are a tradition. But the drinks don’t have to be alcohol, and a soda such as ginger ale with some fresh fruit is festive, tasty and safe. If attending another’s party, request that the host or hostess provide a glass of cranberry juice rather than wine, and a ginger ale or sparkling cider rather than champagne.
4. Use the Buddy System
When attending any holiday parties, gatherings or events it may be a wise choice to go with a friend also in recovery or with another person who completely understands the situation and will be supportive of you.
5. Educate family
Let family know they can support a person in recovery by providing non-alcoholic drinks at family holiday get-togethers. Let friends know, as well. The holidays are a time of caring for and helping others, and families and friends can be encouraged to help in this way.
Implementing these tips can go a long way in helping you to enjoy a safe and sober holiday season.
For more information on helping those struggling with addiction get safely through the holiday season, call us today at 877-362-9682 for a free and confidential assessment.