How Should Families Deal With Addiction During the Holidays? – 2024 Guide

Most people associate the holiday season with fun and exciting times surrounded by close friends and family. However, for recovering addicts, the holidays have the danger of feeling isolating and overly stressed. Thankfully, there are some things that you can do for yourself or a loved one during this time to ensure that this holiday season is fun, relaxed, and relapse-free. Here is how families should deal with addiction during the holidays.

Include Everyone in Festivities

The holidays can have the unfortunate danger of making a recovering addict feel isolated. According to, a great way to combat isolation is by having festivities be open and available to everyone in the family during this time. Although you cannot force them to attend your event if they do not want to, sometimes just knowing that you are welcome feels nice. If your loved one is in in-patient alcohol or drug rehab during the holiday season, then visiting their rehab center with gifts or decorations is an excellent way to make them feel included. It may also help remind them that they are loved and missed, even when they cannot be a part of the celebration at home. This also a great opportunity to drop off a letter, acknowledging that their hard work and self-improvement efforts have not gone unrecognized. That can go a long way to make someone feel appreciated and loved!

Make Sure Your Loved One Socializes

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In addition to making it known that your loved one is welcome at all of your holiday events, you should also make sure that they just socialize in general. Checking up with them through text or dropping by their house is a great way to make sure that your loved one is doing ok during the holiday season. However, you should always ask them if they feel comfortable with you doing so. In addition to this, inviting them over to your place or out somewhere is another excellent way to do this. Of course, alcohol and drug-free places are always the best.

Make Sure Your Events are Sober Ones

As mentioned before, making sure that your loved ones are socializing and letting them know that they are welcome at your holiday events is one of the best ways to combat their feeling of isolation. However, this also means that these events should all be sober ones. Throwing a sober party with virgin cocktails and doing other alcohol and drug-free activities are great ways to have fun with your loved one while also preventing a relapse. Of course, not every event you go to as a member of a recovering addict’s support system needs to be sober, but all of the ones that you invite them to should definitely be. This ensures that you will both have a fun, relaxing, and safe time.

To avoid any unfortunate discomfort, before hosting an event, plan on communicating clearly with other attendees or event planners about your intentions to ensure that the event is a sober one. Offer suggestions for replacement drinks and explain your concern as well as your loved one’s need for this to happen.

Help Them Continue With Their Treatment

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Addiction treatment and recovery do not stop because it is the holiday season. Therefore, it is important for every recovering addict to remember to continue working hard on their addiction treatment during this time. You can help a loved one by offering to take them to things like support group meetings, therapy sessions, and doctor’s appointments. You may also choose to attend family workshops at their rehab center or be an active part of their treatment by attending weekly family therapy sessions. As mentioned earlier, even just checking upon them with a quick phone call, text message, or email is a great way to make sure that they are still on track with their recovery.

If you’re the one in recovery, creating a list of reasons why you wanted to get sober is another way you can avoid making a mistake. Furthermore, if there will be alcohol or drugs at an event, going with someone who you trust and you know supports your recovery will help to prevent a relapse.

Remember to Manage Stress

The holidays can be a very stressful time for most people. However, this is especially true if you are going through addiction treatment or recovery at the same time. Feelings of isolation and the temptation of drugs or alcohol do not improve things either. Keeping things as stress-free as possible is the only way to improve this. Doing things like breathing exercises, meditation, and exercising are great tools for managing stress. In addition to this, making sure that you are getting enough sleep and are spending some time on yourself will reduce stress levels as well.

If you have a loved one who is recovering from addiction, you can also offer to join them in going to a yoga class or engaging in some other therapeutic activity together, such as painting, working out, walking your dog, or volunteering.


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The holiday season can be a very stressful and emotional time for most people. However, this is especially true for those going through addiction treatment and recovery during this time. However, there are some things that you can do for yourself or a loved one dealing with addiction during the holidays. The first thing that you should do is to make sure that they are socializing. A great way to do this is to invite them to your holiday events and check in on them somewhat frequently. This combats the feeling of isolation that recovering addicts can feel. It is crucial that all of these events that you invite your loved one to are sober ones though. In addition to this, helping your loved one continue with their addiction treatment, and helping them with managing their stress are other important factors. With this advice, you are more likely to experience a fun, relaxed, relapse-free holiday season.