There are a wide range of reasons for substance abuse increases during the holidays but here are just a few that address the root causes.
1. A lack of family and friends who offer support during this time can lead to a sense of loneliness and being isolated. Often the addict has already pushed away everyone who wants to help, and so the holidays are a time of sadness and emotional upheaval. Substance abuse increases during the holidays occur in an attempt to cover these emotions.
2. The financial stress of the holiday season can be intense, and this stress can accelerate substance abuse or other addictive behaviors. Since it is one of the biggest and most influential factors involved in a relapse or an increase in addiction stress should be minimized and relieved whenever possible. There are of course, many other stresses that appear during the holidays that can make this a daunting task.
3. The hectic pace of the Christmas season and the sheer number of engagements and invitations may be a factor in an increase in substance abuse. When you become tired or overwhelmed you are more likely to give in to temptation, and to drink or abuse other substances more frequently and in larger amounts.
4. Isolation can play a big role in substance abuse increases. When the individual feels isolated and shut off from the rest of society they tend to become depressed. Depression is one of the main contributing factors in numerous cases of substance abuse or addiction.
5. The emotional whirlwind that these holidays can bring can increase the negative outlook and reinforce the substance abuse. The individual addicted may feel like they do not fit in, and that everyone else is happy but that their life never changes. This can lead to substances being abused more frequently in order to eliminate these emotions.
If you or someone you know tends to ramp up addictive behaviors during the holidays then seeking a qualified counselor can do a lot to help cope with those particular stresses. Another option is to remove yourself from the holidays altogether by entering residential treatment. Contrary to what you might think, getting away from it all to a healthy supportive environment might be the best gift an addict could give to themselves and everyone they know! Contact Valiant Recovery at 1-877-618-6464 or visit our website to learn more about our beautiful location in the holiday town of Kelowna B.C.