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Addiction Recovery During the Holidays

Addiction recovery during the Holidays by Richard Song

The holidays can be a particularly difficult time for people new to recovery. The number of challenges to your recovery can be daunting, between family gatherings, parties where alcohol is present, and emotional triggers such as stress and sadness related to past memories. You can build resistance to these triggers by preparing a plan. Here are some general tips that can help those recovering from an addiction through the holidays:

1) Be careful about which events you attend. Avoid those that will be highly tempting and that focus around “using” such as wine tastings and cocktail parties. When you arrive at an event, take note of the potential triggers and come up with a plan that will address each of those triggers – for instance, position yourself away from the bar.

2) Have a backup plan in case the temptation is too strong or you feel uncomfortable at an event. Bring a sober friend who will support you and leave with you if you don’t feel comfortable staying. If you feel comfortable doing so, let the hosts know your situation. That way, you won’t feel like you offended them if you decide to leave early.

3) Keep in touch with your recovery community and rely on other support systems. Attend SMART Recovery, Women for Sobriety, AA, NA or any other meetings – either face-to-face. on-line or both. If you have one, get involved with your place of worship. You may find others who also find the holidays a difficult time to navigate. It might be a good idea to take down a few numbers if you need someone to support you. Also consider attending a party for people in recovery.

4) Be prepared to say “no thanks” and/or explain your sobriety. Family and friends may be aware of your addiction, but strangers will most likely be unaware and may even offer you a drink.

5) Celebrate your sobriety! This is a time of celebration after all. Focus on those things that you “get back” when you’re in recovery and the ways in which life is better when you’re not using.

Source: Reunion San Diego, a service of Practical Recovery.

Pacific MFT Network offers SMART Recovery meetings in the Santa Monica location on Fridays at 6:30 pm. If you'd like more information, please contact our office at 310-612-2998 or email here.

To find out more about Pacific MFT Network and the services we offer, please visit our website,

Pacific Marriage and Family Therapy Network provides children, teens, adults of all ages, couples, and families with quality psychotherapy that gets results. We have several therapists on staff that have several different modalities of work, specializations and expertise. We can help clients experiencing anxiety, depression, difficult life transitions, troubled relationships, addiction, eating disorders, stress, anger management, prenatal bonding, trauma, domestic violence, performance, whole life fitness, ADD/ADHD, autism, learning differences, religious crisis/struggles, LGBTQ issues, social skills, couples/marital, pre-marital, dating, break up recovery, parenting children, parenting teens, social anxiety, self esteem, substance use, panic, stress relief, cancer recovery, pre-surgical wellness, post-surgical wellness, disordered eating, postpartum depression, careers, grief & loss, divorce, co-parenting, childhood trauma, childhood behavior management, work & life balance, fatherhood, codependancy, or any other mental health issue. Pacific MFT Network is a professional network of highly skilled licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Interns that are committed to empowering a sense of self in our clients and helping them live the life they want. We do so by creating a relationship that is based on genuine care and concern, non-judgment, and support. Our mission is to help you help yourself live a happier and more satisfying life.

Main Office 310-612-2998

1230 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 300 Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

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