ZANESVILLE, Ohio – The holidays bring happiness and joy for many but for others it can bring depression and anxiety. Muskingum Behavioral Health CEO Yolanda Taylor explained how the holidays can affect people differently and trigger relapses into drug or alcohol addiction.
“The main thing about addiction in the holidays is learning to stay connected,” Taylor said. “Staying connected to your family, your support family, if you’ve burned your bridges with your family then you stay connected with your sponsor. The other thing is stay active. Because boredom can be a huge trigger for those that are suffering from addiction.”
If you have problems with addiction, Taylor says you should try to find others who are clean and sober to hang out with. And don’t be afraid to begin new traditions if memories have become a temptation trigger.
“Most importantly, know your triggers,” Taylor said. “Know your triggers and rehearse responses for when you know that you are going to be put in difficult situations. So that you already have a plan in place. Set safe boundaries for yourself. If you know that attending something is going to be a trigger, prepare yourself before you go and set the boundaries of how long you’ll stay and what you will deal with and what you can’t deal with. So that you’re already prepared.”
Taylor urges everyone to realize that they are not alone and that there are people, whether in-person or a phone call away, that share your feelings and experiences and will be there to listen.