Holiday Stress May Cause Some Recovering Addicts to Relapse

By Staff Writer

The holidays can be a difficult time for families that have a member who is dealing with opiate addiction. The stress of travel and dealing with family conflict may be enough to push an individual back into bad habits.

Stress is one of the most common triggers of drug abuse. Many addicts who have remained clean for several years may suffer a damaging setback after going through an extended period of high anxiety, which some individuals find may be caused by time with the family.

The situation can be made even worse when addiction in families centers around issues that certain members have with one another. A Florida-based recovery specialist said that this can reopen old wounds and lead individuals back to drug abuse.

He added that it is important for families to be supportive of one another, particularly when one is struggling with an opiate addiction. Avoiding conflict and making everyone feel welcome can significantly reduce the risk of forcing a family member into relapse during the holiday season.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says that managing stress, keeping expectations reasonable and findings some alone time can help reduce the risk of a relapse during the holidays.