Tips to Avoid Relapsing During the Holidays

The holiday season is for many the most joyful time of the year, but for individuals recovering from alcohol or drug addiction, it can be incredibly stressful. Christmas and New Year’s are some of our country’s biggest drinking holidays and come with a lot of triggers that can cause recovering individuals to relapse.

To make matters worse, this holiday season Americans are encouraged to stay home and away from groups or crowds as a result of COVID-19’s continued spread. Living in isolation can be dangerous for people with past addictions and may add to already-existing stress. Drug and alcohol treatment statistics show that 50 to 90 percent of individuals will relapse back into addiction after treatment.

With all of this in mind, our team at Turning Point has provided a list of helpful tips to keep in mind during this season. Though this year looks different because of social distancing guidelines, there are still ways you can celebrate and avoid potential triggers that may urge you to drink or use drugs.

1. Have a Plan for Every Day

Taking the time to create an agenda for every day during the holiday season can help you get through the day and keep yourself busy. The more time you spend sitting alone, the more likely it is your thoughts will turn to alcohol, drugs, or negative emotions that may drive you to want to drink or use drugs. Write down your errands and make sure you leave room for hobbies and exercise to keep yourself active and healthy.

2. Lean on Your Support System

If you’ve completed a treatment program, you may now belong to a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Though you may be unable to meet with your group in person, keeping in touch through social media or phone calls can be helpful in reminding you that you’re not alone during this time. Your therapist or group may already offer virtual sessions that you can attend.

3. Host a Virtual Holiday Event – One that Doesn’t Require Alcohol

Millions of Americans have turned to Zoom and other video conferencing programs to stay connected with their friends and family amid COVID-19 lockdowns. Gather your loved ones to host a holiday-oriented activity so you can still celebrate and feel close to one another. You can play online games together or watch a movie, and the best part is that none of it has to involve alcohol.

4. Volunteer with a Friend

Countless charities and nonprofit organizations need extra help this holiday season to provide social services from warm clothing for the winter to hot meals for Christmas. This could be a good opportunity for you to volunteer, keep yourself busy, and be of service to others. Per social distancing guidelines, you may be able to wrap gifts for others at home or initiate drop-offs for people.

Call for CARF-Accredited Care

Turning Point is recognized for our commitment to helping people who struggle with substance abuse disorders like alcoholism and drug addiction, as well as with co-occurring disorders. We’re a CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accredited organization with more than 45 years of experience that you can trust. We offer detoxification programs, short-term and long-term residential programs, outpatient programs, and even transitional living so we can help you through each stage of your recovery. Living alone with addiction can be exhausting and isolating; when you call us for help, we can welcome you into our community of caring professionals

Contact Turning Point online or by phone at (973) 380-0905 if you’re ready to seek help. Our team offers a wide range of addiction treatment programs designed to meet you where you’re at in your recovery.


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