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Staying Strong (and Sober) on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving marks the official beginning of the holiday season. It’s a challenging time of year for so many people – especially those living in recovery. Large family events are complicated, and serve as very common triggers and stressors for people struggling with substance use disorders.

Luckily, those who have completed treatment have been given the tools to make it through turkey dinner with nothing stronger than apple cider.

Our top tip is to practice saying no. If any of your friends and family aren’t familiar with your situation, they’ll likely pass the wine. Prepare yourself for this, so that you go in with confidence. Say “no” out loud a few times at home, and identify a reason you’re comfortable sharing should anybody push you on it. It doesn’t need to be the whole truth. You can simply say that you’re happy with the drink you brought yourself.

If you’re worried about certain family dynamics triggering a relapse, carve out some time before the big day to speak with your addiction counselor one-on-one. They can help you formulate a plan tailored to your situation and arm you with effective coping mechanisms.

For those of you who haven’t yet entered treatment, don’t wait. Putting recovery on your list of New Year’s resolutions and suffering through the holiday season can have big consequences, as stressors and consumption typically increase during this time. Our CEO, Kurt Isaacson, urged viewers on NECN’S This Week in Business to use this time wisely, and take advantage of your family’s love, support and presence over the next few months to begin your journey to sobriety. It will be the best present they’ve ever received.

If you or someone you love is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, call Spectrum Health Systems today and an admissions counselor will find the right course of treatment. We can be reached 24/7 at (800) 366-7732.

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