Drug Abuse Prevention Tips for the Holidays

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Drug abuse prevention strategies should be stepped up over the holidays to prevent relapse during a difficult time of parties and events. You should make a list of relapse prevention strategies and keep it with you throughout the season as a reminder. If you’re not sure what to include on that list, here are a few ideas to get you started.

Drug Abuse Prevention Strategies for the Holiday Season

How to Say No

Practice saying ‘no’ in case someone offers you drugs or alcohol. It sounds simple, but a confident, determined ‘no’ can help prevent a relapse. Keep it simple. You don’t have to make an excuse for why you are refusing the offer – it’s your choice! Have a plan in place for someone who won’t take no for an answer and insists that ‘just one won’t hurt.’ Remember that ‘just one’ is what you’ve worked so hard to say no to. If necessary, walk away.

Have an Alternative

Drug abuse prevention means having a number of options available to you. If you’ve turned down an offer of a holiday party, come up with a healthy alternative activity to keep yourself busy. You could go to a movie with a supportive friend, go look at Christmas lights with a godchild, or even volunteer with a local organization. Remember the variety of activities available during the holiday season – plenty of them do not include substances.

Maintain Your Support Network

Keep a list of numbers for people you can contact if you’re in a tough spot. The list could include a counselor, sponsor, trusted friend or family member. Touch base with them regularly for support and encouragement throughout the holiday season. You may have cut some people out of your life when you became sober; turn to this support network to remind you of the power of strong relationships and why you want to remain in recovery.

Attend Meetings

Don’t let yourself get swept up in the change of pace. Stick to your counseling and meeting schedule. You may even want to increase the number of meetings you attend during this period. This can be a great way of staying on track with drug abuse prevention, because you’re likely to meet a number of other people in recovery who are facing similar struggles.

Find Balance

Taking care of your health can be more important than ever for finding balance during the holidays. Get enough sleep, drink enough water, and eat nutritious, real food. Fit in exercise wherever you can. Keeping up with your physical health can improve your mental and emotional health as well. The three types of health all work together to contribute to your total well being, which puts you on strong footing to avoid and say no to relapse triggers.

Drug abuse prevention is an important part of everyday life in recovery, and especially during the holidays when we may be faced with more triggers than usual. Stay strong, stay committed, and focus on your recovery. Unlike everything else, it doesn’t take a holiday.