Holidays Can Be Challenging for Recovering Alcoholics

By Staff Writer

The holiday season is the time of year that poses the single greatest challenge to the relapse prevention efforts of recovering alcoholics. Between the prevalence of liquor at parties, and the stress that comes along with travel and family gatherings, individuals are significantly more likely to return to their old ways.

Gil Kerlikowske, the White House drug policy director, called the period between Thanksgiving and New Years as a sort of “Bermuda Triangle” for recovering addicts. Many find it difficult to stay sober during this time. Once they fall back into old habits, it can be extremely difficult to climb out again.

However, he said that with the help of friends and family, individuals may be more able to maintain sobriety. Addiction in families can be a difficult thing for all members of the unit to deal with, but support makes it easier for individuals to avoid a relapse.

As alcohol use increases around the holidays, so too does drunk driving. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration estimates that 30 million trips will be made by drunk drivers during this time.