Tips for Avoiding Drug Relapse during the Holiday Season

cocaine addictionThe holiday season can be a double-edged sword for those who fear possible relapse from cocaine addiction. Emotionally, it can be a time of both highs and lows, and this can be problematic for addicts in recovery.

Even though this is supposed to be a time of great cheer and celebration, many will instead feel anger, frustration, loneliness, sorrow, and even elation, and one or any combination of these can potentially lead to drug relapse. The holidays can also be the source of unpleasant memories for many addicts, bringing back the tension of experiences such as a marriage breakup or even being in jail.

For an individual in recovery, that’s when backsliding into bad habits can take its toll.

Stress and Pressure Can Tempt Drug Relapse

When this time of year rolls around, naturally you can expect a steady flow of parties and other gatherings and events at some of which you may in fact be exposed to cocaine. If your defenses are down and you’re feeling vulnerable, the chances for drug relapse are increased.

The “holiday blues” can be a very real state of mind, and yet another possible trigger for drug relapse. That doesn’t make it any easier for those who have struggled with recovery from cocaine addiction, as the temptation of experiencing a “good time” with the use of drugs can be at its height during this time of the year. Stress is also one of the leading causes of alcohol and/or drug relapse.

Holiday Season Drug Relapse and What You Can Do

Here are some helpful tips to follow:

  • This is a notoriously busy time. Slow down and focus on good self-care, including a quiet interlude every day for relaxation and meditation.
  • Try not to overdo it on the typical holiday sweets and other unhealthy foods. Along with sugar, try to limit your intake of caffeine and nicotine.
  • Exercise regularly to help keep up your energy level, but be careful not to do too much.  Fatigue is a huge stressor, so try to get a good amount of sleep.
  • Plan ahead when shopping, entertaining and other holiday demands to help avoid the stress of last-minute rushing.
  • Keep your support system alive. If possible, spend time with other recovering people who can be encouraging and help you be aware of your personal limits.
  • Find new ways to celebrate and redefine an enjoyable holiday experience. Avoid isolation and spend time with people you like who are not substance users and stay clear of those who may tempt you into relapse behavior.

Planning ways to help you cope with heightened feelings and stress in general at this time of year can make all the difference. Now is the time to think about focusing on better self-care, healthy ways to celebrate, and maintaining solid support from the important people in your life to help you stay grounded during the holiday season.


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