Battling Addiction and Succeeding in Recovery at “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

Ideally, the holiday season is “the most wonderful time of the year.” But for some people, the holidays are an emotionally-charged, unbearable cluster of stress. Personal trepidations such as financial strain, family strife, loneliness, and heartache can make enjoying this time of year nearly impossible. This is a reality that can be especially true for individuals with substance use disorder.

A recent study determined that in particular, excessive drinking has been linked to seasonal holiday stress (WebMD). 

While not being directly linked to holiday strain, the misuse of opioids has been correlated with alcohol abuse among at least 4.2 million Americans, according to the Center For Disease Control (CDC). The grim reality is that too many people suffer from substance use disorder during any time of the year. Even more jarring is the statistical fact that substance use disorder appears to magnify considerably during the holidays. 

We at Tigger House Foundation offer the following advice to help those with substance use disorder during the holiday season, and to help prepare themselves for a brighter new year. Firstly, you must acknowledge and accept that holiday loneliness can happen. As a result, those with substance use disorder may have more trouble during this time, but Tigger House is here to support you.

Bear in mind, that while feeling lonely may make you feel isolated and alone, you are NEVER alone. We ask that you make the effort to reach out to anyone. Be it a friend, a family member, work colleague, or even a trained substance use counselor; attempting to establish contact for the sake of combating negative feelings (and preventing possible negative decision-making) makes a world of difference to a situation.

Of course, the road to recovery must start from within. Since the holidays do present the opportunity to indulge in less-than-wholesome pleasures, it’s easy to get carried away with festive consumptions. For family members who celebrate with alcohol during the holidays, if you are around a friend or relative with substance use disorder, we suggest safer alternatives when holiday feasting. Instead of alcohol, try drinking soda pop. Do your best to avoid being with others who partake in drug use or heavy drinking. Seek spiritual guidance if necessary. These safer alternatives may be easier said than done. But with persistence and the help of positive influences in your presence, the feeling of pure sobriety will make your life more enjoyable in the long run, especially during the holiday season.

As 2021 approaches, hackneyed clichés like “New Year, New You” will inevitably arise. Yet, the classic New Year's resolution is the perfect motivator to undertake if you are working towards recovery. Before January 1st, try setting goals for yourself that you fully intend to accomplish. They might include finally making that trip to seek formal medical treatment, or working to successfully conquer a full recovery, one step at a time. You can even provide valuable assistance to others with substance use disorder. They say resolutions are meant to be broken. But resolving to succeed in your recovery takes time and patience and we are proud of the progress that anyone in recovery is making. 

 We at Tigger House Foundation understand the dangers of substance use. Hence, our organization looks to motivate and support those with substance use disorder towards recovery. All are encouraged to visit our website for more details.

 As a continuation of Giving Tuesday on December 1st, we have launched our Giving December campaign. We are calling upon everyone to “Give $5, Tag 5,” and share their wellness tip. We encourage you to help support our mission and save a life by following these steps:

 Give $5 to Tigger House Foundation

  1. Share your wellness tip to promote healthy mental and physical health (or repost the Giving December graphic that will be on our social media)
  2. Tag 5 friends
  3. Repeat 

We’re sharing our kickoff Giving December wellness tip from our team member, McKayla; making her bed everyday helps her feel like there is structure to her day. 

We also received wellness tips from the Hendersons, who we thank for their constant support of Tigger House!

So, we encourage you to share your wellness tip with us to help save a life and if you’re trying to pursue a New Year’s resolution or goal, whether it’s a new diet or exercise routine, we encourage you to go after it now! Strive towards your goals and recovery, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Whether you or a loved one needs assistance in your recovery or getting sober, we are always here for you. Please don’t be afraid to reach out! Contact our Addiction Navigator at help@tiggerhouse.org or 732-865-1559.