Managing Addiction During the Holidays 

The chill of cold winter months remind us that the holidays are just around the corner. While Christmas and other big holidays can be a time for families and communities to come together, it can be a difficult time for others. The stress of buying presents, maintaining a budget, being in distressing situations, or feelings of loneliness can bog us down during this otherwise cheerful time.

Addiction can be used to cope with these stressors and it can worsen when the pressure of the holidays comes around. If you or someone you know is suffering from a dependency, providing support is a key facet in managing addiction during the holidays. Feeling supported when you’re at your worst helps to decrease suffering and lessen the potential to develop or increase substance use.

Reach Out for Support

Here are some things to help address and manage an addiction during this season.

  1. Support Groups and Meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous provide a supportive environment where you can meet other people. Being around other people during this time can make you feel less alone and more connected to those who may understand what you’re experiencing.
  2. Smartphone Apps are a great, cost-effective way to provide you with support on the go. Apps such as:
    1. I Am Sober
    2. I Am
    3. Reframe
    4. Nomo
    5. WeConnect Recovery
    6. SoberTool
    7. Quitzilla
  3. Therapy and Counselling can provide a direct approach to help reduce or quit an addiction with the help of a trained professional. This can be in-person or online, many places offer a reduced rate or full-coverage through your insurance. Inpatient rehabilitation facilities remain open during the holidays, so be sure to look up local facilities in your area if needed.
  4. Books and Reading Material can provide information and guidance to help you address addiction or provide insight on what you may be experiencing. Some great books on addiction and coping are:
    1. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Mate
    2. Overcoming your Alcohol or Drug Problem by Dennis Daley and Alan Marlatt
    3. The Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet Woititz
  5. Community and Faith-Based Resources such as local churches and community centres are a great way to connect with neighbors and can offer a warm meal or entertainment. Check out the websites of facilities around your area that may be hosting events or services for the holidays.
  6. Hotlines and Helplines provide 24 hour services as a safe and confidential method to give support, information, or an ear for listening. Be sure to look up local hotlines in your community to receive access to these services.

Overall, getting through the holidays can look like a tremendous feat especially when managing an addiction. It’s hard to do it alone so asking for help, receiving guidance or information, and having healthy distractions and support can make it easier. The holidays doesn’t have to be spent alone or in suffering, there are many options to help you experience a more tolerable or joyous season instead.

Learn more about Addictions Counselling at Creating Connection

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