For many, the holidays elicit feelings of happiness and joy, what with the countless family gatherings and big dinners, cozy fires, and festive decorations. For others, however, the holidays can be a source of anxiety and depression, fueled by things like family conflict, grief, loneliness, financial insecurity and, believe it or not, weather. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a seasonal depression that affects six percent of all Americans. These winter blues can increase and intensify pre-existing emotional difficulties related to grief, loss, and finances during the holiday season, ultimately taking a massive toll on well-being. For someone struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, these circumstances can make the holidays a particularly difficult time of year to maintain sobriety.
Holiday triggers spike stress from moderate to overwhelming levels each year. Almost 65% of Americans report feeling at least moderately stressed out during the holidays. Nearly 20% report feeling overwhelmingly stressed. Looking at these numbers, its no surprise that, according to the Center for Disease Control, the number of alcohol and drug-induced deaths increases significantly during the holiday season.
Since 1999, there have been over 90,000 drug and alcohol-induced deaths, just during December and January. One-third of people report consuming more alcohol during these high-risk months than any other month throughout the year. Be it a result of celebration, or self-medication, over-consumption of drugs and alcohol has proven to be a serious problem during the holiday season. Unfortunately, this often results in people paying the ultimate price.
Struggling This Holiday Season?
The holidays are a tough time of year for everyone. Dealing with an addiction to drugs or alcohol during the holiday season intensifies these already stressful circumstances. Whether in sobriety or actively using, the emotional triggers present during these high-risk months can lead to relapse, overdose, and even death.
If you are struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, know that it is normal to feel overwhelmed, especially during this time of year. Grief, finances, and family can all trigger an increase in alcohol or drug use or even a relapse. You are not alone. At Fort Worth Recovery, we know the importance of community, accountability, and support as resources to nourish successful long term sobriety. We believe in utilizing these resources and walking through the tough times, together. We know that recovery is possible with the help of a solid foundation in recovery and strong relapse prevention planning. At Fort Worth Recovery, we offer a safe and nurturing space for a long-lasting road to recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today at 817-381-9741.