Three Common Holiday Relapse Triggers

Three Common Holiday Relapse Triggers

While many people see the holidays as joyous times to gather with family and friends, they can also plague recovering drug addicts. In fact, people who fight daily to stay sober, and people who have been in recovery for many years, may encounter many problems during the holidays that encourage relapse. During the holidays, many relapse triggers can tempt people to return to drug or alcohol abuse, but you can stay sober it you enter the holiday season with precautionary measures that counter relapse.

Problems during the Holidays that Lead to Relapse

The following problems commonly lead to relapse during the holidays:

  • Financial problems – The holidays lead many people to spend extra money, which can overwhelm recovering drug addicts with stress. Being unable to afford certain items during the holidays may cause stress, which can send recovering addicts to return to drugs for comfort. The best way to avoid this relapse trigger is to plan a strict budget: meet with a financial advisor who can proof your budget with advice on keeping it balanced. Some recovering addicts get temporary jobs to make extra money for the holidays. You can avoid stress, and perhaps relapse, if you plan to use only a certain amount of cash during the holidays.
  • Family and relational problems – Issues with family members and loved ones can easily trigger relapse during the holidays. Most families expect to gather with their loved ones during the holidays, even though being around certain people can cause stress. Relational problems that people have avoided may remerge during holiday gatherings, and these problems can lead to relapse if people want to treat their grief instead of the problem. However, supportive friends can help you resist cravings, especially if they accompany you to family gatherings or become available for phone calls whenever you need them. Some recovering addicts lack family members with whom to celebrate, thus resulting in loneliness, another relapse trigger. Ask to spend the holidays with a friend or support partner’s family to avoid relapse.
  • Parties and celebrations – During the holidays, many recovering addicts attend parties, which may have alcohol or drugs present. Attending a party with addictive substances can lead to relapse, so avoid these parties or host drug-free parties to help yourself and other people enjoy the holidays while avoiding relapse triggers.

Relapse triggers can arise suddenly during the holidays, so have a support partner you can call at any time to talk you out of succumbing to your cravings. You can stay clean if you have the right help.

Help Resisting Relapse during the Holidays

If you or someone you love struggles with addiction and needs help staying sober during the holidays, then call our toll-free helpline now. Our admissions coordinators are standing by 24 hours a day to help you find treatment that will work for you. Don’t return to addiction; seek help to extend your already incredible recovery.