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8 Tips for Navigating the Holidays When Recovering from Alcohol Addiction

By Rebecca Gallant on 
Posted on December 21, 2018

8 Tips for Navigating the Holidays When Recovering from Alcohol Addiction

To reach Rosary Hall, call 216-363-2580 and press 4 to speak with a caregiver immediately. 

 

The holidays are very busy time of year. If you struggle with alcohol or suffer from alcohol addiction, this can be a particularly triggering and stressful time. There’s the anxiety that comes with the season, plus temptations of holiday parties where alcohol might be flowing freely.

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve have been called the Bermuda Triangle of addiction and recovery for a good reason. Alcohol is prevalent during this time of year, and can seem inescapable. If you’re in active addiction or well into recovery, you might have historic associations with alcohol use and the holidays—seeing old friends, time off from work, parties and more. It’s also during these times that people are more likely to cope with stress by using alcohol.

Rosary Hall has been at the forefront of treating alcoholism and drug dependency for more than 60 years. Our director of outpatient treatment services, Orlando Howard, shares some tips to help support a sober holiday season:

  • Choose wisely. If there’s a party, family or work gathering you know will serve alcohol, ask yourself if you have to go to that one. If you don’t think you’ll feel comfortable or there might be pressure to drink, consider an alcohol-free activity instead.
  • Have an exit plan. If you can’t miss a particular event, devise an exit plan for when you’re ready to go. Don’t rely on someone else to leave when you want to leave.
  • Keep a non-alcoholic beverage in your hand. When you arrive, immediately get a club soda or something else non-alcoholic. That way, you can avoid being asked why you aren’t drinking. If you think non-alcoholic options might not be available, bring some with you. When it’s time for another, serve yourself to avoid someone accidentally (or on purpose) giving you alcohol.
  • Buddy up. Ask a sober friend, a trusted family member or a peer in recovery to come with you to a party or gathering. Have someone you can turn to if the pressure to drink feels overwhelming.
  • Change it up. Create new holiday traditions that don’t involve alcohol.
  • Anticipate anxiety. Unpleasant emotions can be prevalent during the holiday. Have a healthy way to manage stress.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat well, get enough sleep, attend therapy and support group meetings, and otherwise keep yourself healthy and composed.
  • Celebrate your recovery. Remind yourself why sobriety is important to you.

While the holidays can be fraught with temptation, they are also a time to be thankful for the gift you have given yourself of staying on the road to recovery. With a bit of planning, you can enjoy your holidays safely and soberly.


Rosary Hall at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland has been at the forefront of treating alcoholism and drug dependency for more than 60 years. At Rosary Hall, patients and their families find the road to freedom in a recovery process that’s compassionate, comprehensive and one of the best in the country. In fact, Rosary Hall is the only addiction treatment center in the region to provide a full spectrum of the most current treatment options, from hospital detoxification to community-based rehabilitation, to the latest medication-assisted treatments.

To reach Rosary Hall, call 216-363-2580 and press 4 to speak with a caregiver immediately. Learn more about our co-medical directors, Dr. Ted Parran and Dr. Christopher Adelman

 

To reach Rosary Hall, call 216-363-2580 and press 4 to speak with a caregiver immediately. 

 

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