How to avoid a holiday relapse

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The holidays are a joyous yet stressful time. For people with a history of substance abuse, there’s a risk that stirred-up memories and revisiting places and people from the past might trigger a relapse.

To avoid relapsing into substance abuse over the holidays, Everyday Health suggests the following strategies:

Start your day with a plan

Start each day with a plan that helps you stay focused on sobriety.

Evaluate situations for risk

Know what you can handle as far as exposure to social situations over the holidays. Experts suggest arriving at a party early and likewise leaving early before people are drinking heavily. Driving yourself gives you control over when you leave.

BYOB

Bring along sparkling water or another non-alcoholic drink you enjoy so you’re not tempted by party beverages.

HALT

The most common triggers for substance abuse are when you feel hungry, angry, lonely, or tired — HALT. Know your triggers and take care not to let them develop.

Don’t forget to eat

Low blood sugar can leave you anxious or irritable. You’ll be more likely to feel impulsive and tempted by substances. Eat something nutritious about every three hours to help you avoid temptation.

If you suffer a relapse over the holidays, Love Life Wellness Center is here for you. Studies show that the longer a course of addiction treatment, the greater one’s chances of avoiding relapse and finding lasting freedom from addiction.

Our intensive outpatient program lets patients extend their treatment experience over the course of an additional 60 days. During this time, clients enjoy access to group and individual therapy, holistic services and community support and gradually over time transition to greater self-sufficiency in their journey towards a future free from addiction.

This step-down approach to recovery means clients begin outpatient rehab with a high level of programmatic support, structure and accountability (meaning three days a week of group and individual therapies, peer support groups, life skills training and mentorship and other scheduled activities). We are the bridge between residential treatment and having your life back and loving it.