Surviving the Holidays, Part 4: Drug Addiction
This is the 3rd part of a series on surviving the holidays for those suffering from addiction, eating disorders and other mental health issues.
Drug addiction can be very difficult around the holidays. Everyone is celebrating and going to parties, something a drug addict almost certainly associates with using. While this can be triggering, there are still ways a recovering addict can enjoy the holiday season without relapsing. Aside from the obvious, not taking drugs, there are a few steps to help the former addicts maintain their recovery.
Step 1 – Prepare an emergency kit & plan ahead of time
This means having the addicts sponsor or other support persons phone number, planning where they will go and who with, and providing recovery friendly reading material like the big book from AA. This will provide the recovering addict with some basic support and help prevent relapse.
Step 2 – Attend meetings
Narcotics anonymous and other groups have meetings all over the world so finding one should not be a problem. These meetings will help to bolster the addict’s confidence and provide added support when it is most needed.
Occupy your free time/plan your day – Boredom can be a dangerous opponent in your recovery process. You may have found that the times you indulge in risky behaviours were partly attributed to having nothing to do so plan your day with activities
Step 3 – Arrive early and leave early
As the party goes on it becomes more likely that drug use will occur. If an addict suspects anyone will be using they should leave early to avoid this or consider not going to that particular party.
Step 4 – Have an escape plan
This could be any excuse to leave early if it is necessary. If an addict begins to feel pressured or triggered to use they need to get out of the situation and think of their sobriety. No matter how good the party is, it cannot make up for a relapse.
Step 5 – Avoid stress
Nothing can derail recovery faster than a stressful situation. If an addict believes a certain party or situation may be too stressful, it is probably best to simply avoid that situation and find something else to do.
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<strong>Expert Tip –
Vernon Hartshorne, BACP Person Centred Counsellor</strong
Get a sponsor – There is nothing like having a mentor in recovery to help with your journey to a new way of life. Sponsors have been the key to so many success stories.</p>