The Difficulty of Recovery Over Christmas
Christmas time is often described as the best time of the year. Around Christmas and New Year, parties, celebrations, and alcohol-fuelled events are in full swing. This is a very busy, overwhelming and emotional time of the year for everyone. However, Christmas time for addicts can be very difficult.
It is particularly challenging for people who are in drug or alcohol rehabilitation during Christmas time. At a time of year when you’re surrounded by family members, co-workers, and friends, things can get a bit too overwhelming.
It’s important to remember that addicts may be suffering during the festive period and that they will be struggling with their behavioural illnesses. Oftentimes, their day-to-day will feel impossible to achieve. They will be constantly battling through consumption and their desire to stop consuming alcohol and drugs. This means that Christmas celebrations can often make these feelings much worse.
Below, we will look at some of the main reasons why Christmas can be a challenging time for addicts.
Feeling Pressure To Fit In
When celebrations are in full swing, most people want to just fit in and enjoy the experience. However, when it comes to anyone struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, fitting in may be quite challenging. Trying to fit in may fuel their drug and alcohol use and make things worse.
Even just one drink could make their addiction much worse. With this in mind, you should never encourage an addict to ‘just have one’ or to ‘let their hair down’ as these could advance their addiction or may ruin their rehabilitation progress.
Being Surrounded By People Drinking
One of the best ways for addicts to control their consumption is to stay away from substances. However, during the festive season, this can be almost impossible. During this time of year, addicts will most likely be surrounded by excessive levels of drinks. In the UK, we tend to drink a lot during the Christmas season.
When addicts are surrounded by this type of behaviour, it can make things very challenging. It can also make it very difficult for addicts to help control the temptations to drink or do drugs. One small trigger could send the addict into a larger binge which could result in side effects and addiction to spiral out of control.
Feelings of Loneliness
What many people don’t realise is that Christmas can actually be a very lonely time for recovering addicts, if there is feelings of lonliness and declining mental health, using relapse prevention techniques learnt in rehab centres can be a good start. However, recovering addicts will want to shut off from all of their triggers. This can make this time of year rather lonely and can leave people feeling quite empty.
When someone with an addiction spends the Christmas period alone, this can lead to their mind starting to drift and could result in a number of mental health problems. Addicts that are spending Christmas alone may experience anxiety, depression, and paranoia.
Having to Justify Themselves Constantly
Christmas is a time for friends and family. However, imagine for a second that you have to justify yourself and your behaviours to the people around you – particularly those that you don’t see as often. This is usually the reality for many addicts that are suffering from drug and alcohol substance abuse issues.
Many addicts may find themselves talking their way out of difficult or deep conversations and may have to constantly justify their choices. This is often something that happens a lot during this time of year. This can be even more challenging when the addict is talking to or surrounded by other people who are drinking excessively.
How to Offer Your Support to An Addict This Christmas
If you are spending the Christmas season with someone who is struggling with an addiction, the best way for you to promote comfort is to offer your ongoing support. This can often be easier said than done. However, before the celebrations begin, you should try to offer a listening ear to them. This will most likely help to ease some of their anxieties.
Also, it is recommended that you invite your family members and friends who are struggling with addictions to suitable events during the festive season. This will help to ensure that they don’t feel lonely and don’t feel like they are unwelcome. However, it is important that you choose the right events. You must avoid exposure to drugs, drinking, or anything that may cause temptations.
In order to make Christmas more enjoyable for addicts, one of the best things you can do is make sure you understand what they are going through. Try to ask your friend or family member what makes this season worse for them.
Ask them about what helps to alleviate their temptations to drink or do drugs and also find out ways to help reduce chances of relapsing. This will help to ensure the person feels like their Christmas is worthwhile as Christmas is a time that everyone should be able to fully enjoy.
Make sure to be there for the addict. Ensure that they feel comfortable at all times and try to avoid putting them in situations that may be difficult such as being around lots of people who are drinking or taking drugs.
Are You Currently Struggling With An Addiction?
If you are currently struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it’s important that you reach out for help as soon as possible. Alcohol and drug addictions are progressive diseases. This means that the addiction will only get worse and worse over time if it is left untreated.
With this in mind, there is no better time than right now to reach out for the help you need. Get in touch with us today and our team of friendly, helpful staff will be happy to provide you with some advice and answer any questions that you may have about addictions, rehab, or the process of recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction.
Take a leap of faith today and get in touch with us. These may just be the most important and rewarding phone calls that you ever make.