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The Holiday Season and Substance Use Disorders (SUD)

October 19, 2022

For some people, the holiday season offers a much-needed reprieve from the stressors of day-to-day life. However, not everyone experiences the holiday season this way. For those struggling with addiction or in recovery, the holidays can bring about feelings of anxiety and depression.

How Addiction Can Complicate Holiday Celebrations

For individuals in active addiction, holidays can be a time when they worry about whether they will be able to consume substances as they would like to, especially around family members who may be aware of their addiction. This can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, and a sense of not belonging.

The Holidays in Recovery: Coping with New Emotions and Challenges

For people in recovery, the holidays can serve as a reminder of the damage caused by their addiction. It can be difficult to navigate. Individuals may experience a variety of emotions and challenges, such as feeling like an outsider around family members who may not know how to interact with a newly sober individual.

The Importance of Helping Others During the Holidays

To cope with these challenges, individuals in recovery can shift their focus from their own emotions to helping others. Volunteering at a local soup kitchen or participating in community events can provide a sense of purpose and connection that helps alleviate feelings of isolation and sadness.

Finding Hope and Meaning in the Holiday Season

Taking the focus off of one's emotions and thoughts can greatly improve the holiday experience for those in recovery. Removing this focus allows them to step out of their own struggles and concentrate on the needs of others.

For those who experience depression and anxiety during the holidays, helping someone else may offer a valuable coping strategy. By focusing on the needs of others and finding ways to give back to the community, individuals in recovery can create new, positive memories and experiences that replace the negative associations they may have had with the holiday season in the past.

Find Help For Substance Use Disorders During The Holidays

In conclusion, the holiday season can be a challenging time for individuals battling substance use disorders or navigating recovery. It's crucial to remember that help and support are available during these trying times. By focusing on helping others and engaging in acts of service, those in recovery can forge new, positive associations with the holiday season and find a renewed sense of purpose.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or finding it difficult to cope during the holidays, don't hesitate to reach out for help and ask questions about addiction. Contact AffinityOne Millbury at (508) 859-7782 today to speak with a compassionate professional who can provide guidance, support, and resources tailored to your needs. Make this holiday season a time for healing, hope, and connection by taking that first step toward a brighter future.