If you are in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, the holidays can be an especially challenging time. Addiction triggers seem to be everywhere, tempting you to relapse. However, one of the things you learned in alcohol addiction treatment was identifying addiction triggers and developing a strategy for managing them.
Festivities, family and friend connections, and familiar places can all come at you at once, sparking an emotional connection to drugs or alcohol. Furthermore, there may be unique triggers that you don’t necessarily face every day. Paying attention to your holiday addiction triggers is the key to staying clean between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Fresh Start Recovery Center can help!
What Are Holiday Addiction Triggers?
Holiday addiction triggers can be anything that tempts those in recovery to relapse. During the holiday season, parties, stress, and general life upheaval can cause some individuals to turn to drugs and alcohol. Be prepared for these potential setbacks by learning about the most common holiday addiction triggers.
Once Thanksgiving arrives, it seems that the parties never end for roughly six weeks. Family get-togethers, corporate parties, and social events can stack up, triggering one emotional connection after another. Many of these social events involve drinking alcohol (and, in some cases, taking drugs).
Regardless of how long you have been sober, it is easy to relapse at a party. You may decide that you are going to have one drink and then stop. However, one drink leads to the next and, before you know it, you are binging once again. If you find yourself relapsing, remember that addiction treatment centers in Maryland still offer help. You can always get back on your feet.
The holidays often bring families together. Family members may come from all around to reunite at Christmas or Thanksgiving. However, not all family gatherings are joyous events. Conflict with certain members can cause feelings of anger or resentment due to past painful events.
If you experienced family-related childhood trauma, being around certain family members can create tension that you have difficulty managing. As frustrating as this may be, you feel that you have no choice but to spend time with certain family members due to fear of being the black sheep of the family.
For many people, the holidays can be a stressful time. Organizing events, buying presents, and worrying about finances can be too much for anyone to handle. Many people turn to alcohol during the holidays to cope with addiction triggers such as stress, anxiety, or depression. They may feel overwhelmed by everything and start drinking to escape the pressure.
You may have a mental health condition, such as severe anxiety or depression, that led to your addiction in the first place. If you feel stressed during the holidays, this can lead to anxiety, which, in turn, can lead to relapse.
Changes in Schedule
One of the things you learn in your drug addiction treatment program is that chaos contributes to addiction. Few things create chaos as much as Christmas or Thanksgiving. The holidays can throw off your schedule and create stability in your life.
You may feel on edge as you go from a holiday event to another. Regardless of how well you try to stick to your weekly schedule, too many events and obligations can derail your efforts.
How to Manage Your Addiction Triggers During the Holidays
Here are some ways you can prevent or manage your triggers during the holidays:
- Be prepared before going to any event – Decide in advance to leave triggering situations
- Plan out your holidays – Talk to your friends and family about what you’re comfortable with
- Eat healthily and exercise – This can be a way to relieve stress
- Attend support groups in your area – 12-step meetings can be found all over during the holidays
- Keep an accountability contact list – Have a mentor or friend in recovery that you can reach out to as needed
- Limit your responsibilities and overall stress – Make time for self-care
In general, take control of your life during the holidays. Limit where you go and who you spend time with. Know what to expect in advance before you go to any social event. If necessary, visit a drug rehab center or a support group if you feel tempted to drink or take drugs. There are plenty of resources available to help you stay strong during the holidays.
Learn More About Addiction Triggers at Fresh Start Recovery Center
Although the holidays can be a tough time, you can make it through if you are committed to recovery. To learn more about managing addiction triggers, contact Fresh Start Recovery Center at 833.625.0398 or reach out to us online. We offer a comprehensive treatment program for all types of addictions. Call us today and get on the road to recovery this holiday season.