Handling Opiate Addiction During the Holidays
The holidays are a stressful time for many, but they are especially hard on those who are going through a problem with opiate use or abuse. In general, addiction is more pervasive during the holiday season. The combined stress of traveling or planning an event, a change in your regular schedule and the potential to encounter people and memories from your past means that addiction can often drag you down when you should be celebrating. Whether you’ve already been through treatment or are just starting to try and find help, these tips can guide you through the holiday season.
Make an Action Plan
Meet with a counselor beforehand to prepare your strategy. Answer these important questions ahead of time so you can be ready.What will be especially difficult or stressful about these holiday events?
What will I do if I experience cravings?
When and how will I take my necessary medications during an abnormal holiday schedule?
Who will I turn to for support when I need it? (Let your support team know who they are)
What is my limit? What people or situations must I avoid entirely to take care of myself?Working with someone to address potential problems and come up with solutions beforehand is necessary. Just knowing that you have the tools you need will help you approach holiday situations with more confidence and control.
- When You Need to, Bow Out
Health is priority number one. If a certain outing or trip will be too stressful or potentially triggering (for example, seeing friends or family who have their own problems with opiate use), it is okay to say no.Maybe you don’t need to cancel entire trips or vacations, but empower yourself or your loved one to pick and choose what is tolerable. Some people in your life may have trouble understanding your absence from certain events, but only you and your family know what’s best for you.
Consider Using this Time for Treatment
Many people think the holidays are an inappropriate time to begin treatment for an opiate abuse problem, but in many ways it can be perfect timing for you or a loved one. The best way to handle holiday stress head-on is to begin the process of treatment and self-care, if you haven’t already.Time off from work means that someone can focus on treatment, with their family taking time to support them. Maybe an end-of-year bonus means that treatment is more affordable. The best gift you can give yourself or a loved one is truly the gift of treating the addicted body and mind.Are you ready to begin a process of recovery? OTCOA is open during the holidays. Our scientifically-backed, affordable care is available to help you, a friend or family member begin treatment now. Contact us and see if we can help.