“Have a Very Merry Holiday Relapse?”

What’s up with relapse during the very merry holiday season? Do we see more relapse because those vulnerable to addiction feel lonely and left out even downright depressed during this very merry holiday season? Do we see more relapse because many are estranged from family during this very merry holiday season? Or do we see more relapse during this very merry holiday season because some people may just want to party one more time before the new year starts? Or do we see more relapse during this time of year for all of the above?

What can be done to help those in recovery not take that step towards relapse during this holiday season. First we can make sure that the person in recovery stays connected to all the positive things in their lives.

Staying close to sponsors, as well as family and friends that provide encouragement and support during the so called “very merry holiday season.”

Making sure the person is attending their NA or AA meetings consistently.

Observing behaviors and tell tale signs that relapse might be coming shortly. Relapse, as we know, starts weeks before someone actually picks up a drink or a drug.

Do not hesitate to tell your family member or friend what you are observing and engage in an open dialogue on what is going on.

Understanding that the very merry holiday season is not so merry for all. That people suffering from depression are more at risk for suicide during this time of year. Understanding that if someone is talking about suicide this behavior should not be taken lightly especially if the individual talking about suicide has actually thought out the manner in which to commit suicide. For those of us that have a loved one struggling with the disease of addiction we need to understand that depression, anxiety and other behavioral issues are very routinely present with addiction. Observing these behaviors can give us insight into prospective relapses especially during this season. Helping people get through this holiday season without relapse will certainly make for a truly “Very Merry Holiday Season” for them and their families and friends.

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