For millions of people, the Christmas season is a time of celebration, happiness, and magic. During this time, families decorate their homes in floods of twinkling lights, ovens are filled with fragrant gingerbread cookies, and bright colors of red and green flood the streets and storefront windows. However, for other groups of people, this holiday magic can be a protective shield for the terrible circumstances that plague their families. Every year, people across the country have to help a substance abuser or an addict in their family cope with the stressful temptation of alcohol and drugs, despite the cheery holiday season. However, one of the most important things to remember is that, no matter what happens, interpersonal communication is the key to solving the problem. If a substance abuser or an addict is scared, family members should always be willing to listen and help (unless the situation gets out of hand, of course). Let’s take a closer look at how you can handle substance abuse and addiction during the Christmas season.

What Are Your Expectations?

HOW TO HANDLE SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND ADDICTION DURING THE CHRISTMAS SEASONAccording to Dr. Robert W. Mooney (addiction psychiatrist and medical director at Willingway Hospital), one of the best steps family members of abusers and addicts can take is to consider the range of expectations for holiday celebrations. More often than not, people will be prepared to enter the commercial painting of lights, trees, and wreaths and forget that one of their loved ones as a serious problem. Never expect the abuser or addict to be magically cured and recover from their attraction to alcohol or drugs because of Christmas cheer. Likewise, do not push the addict to “pretend to be happy” to cover up the problem. If this individual is suffering terribly, do not put any more boundaries on this loved one.

What about Active Abusers/Addicts?

As explained by Marti MacGibbon (an author based in California and Indiana and addiction treatment specialist), multiple families of abusers and addicts will initially think the best insurance of peace is to completely ban the suffering person from holiday festivities. However, this decision can come at a high price. By being banned from Christmas celebrations, the abuser or addict may feel even more isolated or separated from their loved ones.

Nevertheless, people should still be concerned for the safety of their family members. Families who allow an addict or abuser to attend a party or event should set up strict rules for behavior. Likewise, if a boundary is crossed, these individuals should take appropriate action to ensure the addict or abuser is not enabled.

Always remember that mind-altering drugs do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.

The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your drug abuse or addiction troubles today.