Drunk Driving, Depression, and Domestic Violence Increase During Holidays
For many the holiday season is a time of joy, but also a time of increased stress.
Depression, drunk driving accidents, suicides, as well as domestic violence all increase during the holidays.
The period from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day is a time when many individuals in recovery from alcoholism and/or drug
addiction may try to ignore their condition and participate in the camaraderie of family festivities and office parties.
These activities may result in relapses, especially for a person in early recovery.
More people engage in substance abuse this time of year because they are trying to cope with holiday stress. Additionally,
studies show that suicide victims frequently tested positive for alcohol and other drugs.
Family members and friends can be a great source of support for recovering addicts. Ways to help include planning ahead
and being there to help when the individual has an urge to use. Here are some tips for dealing with alcohol and drug cravings over the holidays:
*Alcohol Alternatives. Try a refreshing non-alcoholic drink. Mix fruit juice with sparkling water, try some cider, or have a fruit smoothie.
*Cravings: Eat Sweet. When a strong craving or urge to use hits, eat or drink something sweet. Alcohol is a sugar and a sweet can satisfy that part of the brain that triggers the need for alcohol. This also helps for drug cravings.
*Parties: Back up plan. Go with a friend with long-term sobriety to parties where alcohol will be served. Plan to stay for a limited time. Park the car where there is no chance of being blocked in. Leave whenever you need to go.
*Got Stress? Get rest! Be sure to get enough rest and enough quiet time. Exercise and walk outside as much as possible. Release stress through meditation, yoga, and massage. Avoid arguments. Limit your participation in family and social obligations if they are stressful.
For more information on having a safe, healthy holiday season, contact Chip Meara at 609-396-5874.
About Mercer Council -- Mercer Council is a 501C (3) non-profit agency dedicated to strengthening the foundations of children and families by empowering them to successfully handle difficult, everyday life situations and the impact of substance abuse. Mercer Council actively provides quality alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse prevention and early intervention services in partnership with individuals, families, schools, communities, businesses and professionals throughout Mercer County. Mercer Council is located at 447 Bellevue Avenue, Trenton, NJ.
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