Navigating the Holidays: Supporting Your Loved One in Addiction Recovery

Christmas walk

The holidays are an incredible time of celebration, festivities, and family. However, this can also be a time of overwhelming stress and triggers for those in addiction recovery. Just consider it for a moment: while the holidays are an exciting time of year, they also come with large crowds, the pressure of small talk, excessive drinking, and the stress of preparation.

In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse says that stress cues and contact with substances are the most common triggers for relapse. For those who don’t struggle with addiction, this is manageable. They get through the stress and probably have some fun. But for those in addiction recovery, this is a long list of triggers that can be detrimental to their sobriety. This is why it is so valuable for family members and loved ones to be there as a support network for those in recovery.

Continue reading to learn some of the best ways to support your loved one in addiction recovery throughout the holidays.

Low Pressure After a Return from an Addiction Recovery Center

Everyone will be happy to have their family member home from an addiction recovery center. Of course, you will want them to attend family gatherings and holiday celebrations. However, this may be a bit overwhelming for your recovering loved one in the beginning. They may not be ready to attend large gatherings or have to mingle with many people at once.

Overall, it may be better to engage in more intimate gatherings with them for the holidays for less pressure.

Give Them Space for Addiction Recovery Care

One of the most important things in supporting a loved one in recovery is to give them the space they need. Sometimes, those in recovery may need to take a moment to themselves or skip a gathering for their addiction recovery care. This may be because they simply feel overwhelmed, are trying to avoid additional stress, or must attend a meeting or other addiction recovery services. This should never be taken personally, as it is incredibly important for them to prioritize their sobriety over holiday plans.

Promote and Support Their Recovery

It is essential to show the individual in recovery that you are there to listen and support their recovery efforts. Offer to attend an NA or AA 12-step meeting or other support group with them. Let them know it is okay to feel anxious and stressed during the holidays, but the family is there to support them through it.

The individual’s sobriety is not the family’s responsibility, but providing them with a solid support network can make all of the difference in their success. It can be incredibly encouraging for the recovering individual to know they have people who are there for them through this time.

When in Doubt, Ask How You Can Help

For those who don’t know how to best support their loved one through recovery, there is nothing wrong with asking. The recovering person may have some ideas for ways to help support them, whether it be simply listening, being a buffer between them and someone at a gathering, or offering a ride home to a meeting or from a holiday gathering.

Are You Seeking Addiction Treatment for Yourself or a Loved One?

Addiction can completely take over an individual’s life, but it is far from impossible to overcome. Here at Narconon, we have helped thousands of people achieve sobriety, and we would like to do the same for you or your loved one. If you have any questions about our program offerings, you can call us or fill out our contact form for a free info pack.


Suncoast Staff