How Do Holidays Adversely Affect People With Substance Use Disorders?

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The holiday season, usually the time of the year for fun and celebration, can turn out to be a stressful event for individuals with substance use disorder. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New year, etc., can be challenging for some people who struggle with addiction. 

The suboxone treatment doctors inform that the holiday season’s looming stress, when combined with poor coping skills, can cause an escalation in addictive behaviors. 

The holiday season stressors

The set of holiday season stressors that can trigger substance use are:

Increased access to various drugs

In western culture, consumption of various substances is a common affair at parties and social gatherings during the holiday season. It provides people with substance use disorder easy access to drugs.

The experts at drug addiction treatment centers near me say that when people with substance use disorder are present in such an environment, it becomes hard for them to control their urges and eventually consume substances and sometimes overdose. 

Financial concerns

The holiday period can cause a great deal of financial strain on you as gatherings cost money. If you are already struggling with a financial problem, the chances are that you may run into a devastating financial burden.

The perceived obligation to purchase presents for family and friends is yet another hallmark of the holiday season that can cause stress on multiple levels. Finding the appropriate present for everybody at an affordable price is quite challenging and may put a great deal of pressure on you.

According to the professionals at substance abuse counseling near me, such added pressures can trigger a person to turn to substance use for some respite.

Family gatherings

From being around some of the toxic relatives to digging the past and revisiting the memories of the unpleasant past, a family get-together can bring with it a great deal of stress. The suboxone doctors near me say that any traumatic experience is enough for a person to give in to drugs.

While some individuals may enjoy family gatherings, others may find it a stressful event. Individuals with substance use disorder may not share a healthy relationship with their family members; their past behaviors may have damaged trust and family relationships over the years. In this context, a family get-together can cause anxiety which may trigger substance abuse.

Holiday isolation

The doctors at drug addiction treatment centers say that loneliness and isolation can be overwhelming for some individuals, especially during the holiday season when everyone around is celebrating with their loved ones. People with substance use disorder who are forbidden to attend any family gatherings because the family members disapprove of their addictive behaviors may have a heightened level of loneliness. 

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Some people live away from their families due to their addictive behaviors. They may desire to be with their family members during the festive season but may not be able to do so because of some reasons (travel issues or any other unforeseen circumstances).

All these circumstances may lead to depression, grief- triggers for substance abuse.

Reduced workload

Most of the corporations give some time off to their workers during the holiday season. Government agencies are also likely to stay closed during the holidays. It means that people have a reduced workload and more free time. According to the experts at substance abuse counseling, people with substance use disorder may start consuming substances in this time due to fewer burdens, reduced workload.

Disruption in treatment

The doctors at recovery centers near me consider consistency to be crucial in addiction recovery. People with drug use disorder need to be consistent in their attempt to stay away from the consumption of harmful substances with the help of proper counseling. The holiday season disrupts the normal schedule of counseling, which in turn leads to relapse. 

Measures that can be taken to prevent substance abuse or a relapse

● It is crucial to keep the surroundings drug-free.

● Avoid social gatherings that may tempt you to partake in substances.

● If a social gathering is unavoidable, consider taking an accountable person with you to look after you.

● Politely refuse to attend a family gathering if you are not comfortable in such a surrounding.

● Consider doing yoga or mindfulness exercises to soothe anxiety.

● Reach out to your loved ones if you desire their company.

● In your spare time, indulge in healthy activities like watching films, doing art, music, writing, etc., to keep yourself engaged.

● Do not forget to attend any counseling sessions. Try to schedule an appointment to the nearest possible date if there occurs any problem on the pre-decided date.

● Have a sufficient supply of medication on hand.

In the end

Even though emotional stress, especially during the holidays, can be hard for everyone but for people dealing with substance use disorder, issues such as family conflicts, financial problems, etc., are amplified. Therefore, removing yourself from a surrounding that fans the flames of your substance abuse is considered wise. Get yourself some help regarding this from the American recovery center.

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