The problem with addiction and holidays
Addiction and holidays can be a dangerous combination. Every special day brings triggers with it, everything from parties and picnics, to family memories and feelings of loneliness. Addiction doesn’t take holidays, and neither does Kolmac. We offer holiday sessions to help our patients cope with triggers and negative feelings on Christmas, Thanksgiving, July 4th and other major holidays.
Patients learn coping strategies to deal with addiction and holidays
At Kolmac, patients participating in our outpatient treatment program learn coping strategies that help them deal with addiction and holidays. They receive support from our experienced therapists and fellow patients in group therapy sessions. Knowing that addiction doesn’t take holidays makes our staff more determined to be available as much as possible during patients’ most critical moments.
Why holidays trigger negative emotions
Patients can feel depressed, anxious or stressed during the holidays for a variety of reasons.
• At parties and social events, people may feel pressured to drink or use drugs as they did in the past. Patients may also feel the need to explain their recovery or even defend it.
• People with substance use disorders may have relied on substance use to cope with negative memories from past celebrations or events with family or friends.
• Society often creates unrealistically joyous expectations for days like Christmas, Thanksgiving and July 4th. Patients may feel lonely and left out, especially if they are avoiding old friends and family who trigger their desire to use substances.
Even though everyone else is celebrating, addiction doesn’t take holidays. The fight against relapse is an everyday battle.
Coping strategies help patients survive and even enjoy the holidays
At Kolmac, our experienced therapists work with patients to create coping strategies for addiction and holidays. Fellow group members often have their own helpful strategies to share. Here are a few coping strategies our staff recommends.
- Planning is crucial. In the days before a holiday, patients should think about possible triggers that may occur during the event and make a game plan for dealing with them.
- Supportive family and friends help you stay on track. Invite someone you trust to attend events with you. If they are not available, check in with them during or after the event. Patients can also find professional support for addictions and holidays at Kolmac. Addiction doesn’t take holidays, so Kolmac offers group support sessions on holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving.
- Patients should avoid triggers. A key component of coping is knowing and avoiding the circumstances, people or places that trigger a patient’s desire to drink or use drugs. During the holidays, it’s critical to pay attention to “HALT” triggers, including hunger, anger, loneliness and tiredness.
Patients can rely on Kolmac for holiday support
At Kolmac, our goal is to be there for our patients when they need us most, including during the holidays. For more information about addiction and holidays, contact us.