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The holidays are often marketed as the best time of the year. However, for many people, the holidays can be a challenge, especially for those who struggle with substance abuse. Some of those in recovery find that it’s difficult to avoid relapse during the holidays. At BrightView, we know that knowing the warning signs of a relapse and having a plan in place can help you or a loved one maintain sobriety and manage risks.

What Makes the Holidays a High-Risk Time for Relapse?

Relapse during the holidays can happen for many reasons. Most men and women don’t set out to use drugs or drink during the holidays. They work hard not to. Yet, there are factors that may make this harder during this time of year, such as:

  • Exposure to more drug and alcohol use
  • Being around people who may use themselves
  • Feeling like you have to drink because everyone else is
  • Traditions that you feel you cannot break
  • Feelings of trauma and stress brought up by the holidays or people you see during this time

Whatever it is that is putting you at risk, realize there is help available to you. You can avoid relapse during the holidays by focusing on a few key things.

Work to Reduce Your Risk of Exposure to Triggers

Everyone in recovery has triggers, which are people, places, experiences, or feelings, that put them more at risk of using. During drug and alcohol addiction treatment, you’ll learn more about what these are and how they impact you. You’ll also develop strategies for managing them. Work on those strategies, such as knowing when to reach out to mentors when you feel at risk.

Learn That the Holidays May Mean Saying No

Sometimes, you have to say no to experiences that put you at risk. You may feel guilty about it, especially when someone will be disappointed that matters to you. Yet, it may be necessary to reduce your risks of using again. Those who care about you don’t want you to put yourself at risk. Find a new way to celebrate with them this year. Make it as special as you can.

Reach Out for Support

Relapse during the holidays often happens when a person doesn’t take action as soon as they can to avoid using. The sooner you recognize that you’re at risk, the better your chances are of stopping it from happening. While you may not be using right now, you still can get outpatient therapy and support group meetings to help you avoid using. At BrightView, we offer a range of solutions for substance abuse during the holidays. Again, if you think you are at risk of replacing, don’t wait to get help. Learn more about the programs we offer:

Focus on the Work You’ve Done to Avoid Relapse During the Holidays

Another important way for you to reduce the risk during the holidays is simply to focus on what you’ve accomplished. Look at how much you’ve gone through, how many therapy sessions you’ve had, and how many changes you’ve made to heal. When you focus on all you’ve done, and tell others about it, that can help you stay on the right path. This is always a good time to reach out to help others, too. Visit your treatment center to find out if you can mentor someone. Turn to local recovery programs to offer help there as well.

Reach Out for Help During the Holidays from BrightView

When it comes to the holidays, you can enjoy them and still get the help you need for your addiction. Our team at BrightView is dedicated to working with you through the process. Learn more about relapse during the holidays and the tools we can offer when you call 833-510-4357.