For those who struggle with alcohol addiction, the holidays can be particularly hard. While it's a time people bond and make new memories with loves ones, victims are often stuck struggling between ignoring and taking a sip of eggnog. They are, to put it simply, living a nightmare.
About 75 percent of alcoholics relapse in their first year of recovery. For those who are sober up to five years, that number drops to 7 percent. And finally, people have the best chance to recover and not relapse if they complete a formal program lasting at least 28 days.
There's a good chance a recovering alcoholic will be invited to a holiday party or event, whether it be through family, friends or colleagues. How can you make sure that the victim doesn't relapse during this time? Here are two ways to do so:
1. Take away triggers
If you're hosting a party, you could advertise it as a non-alcoholic event. At the very least, you can make sure you don't have any of your own alcohol around the house. And ask people to bring coolers to store the alcohol in.
Triggers, such as having alcohol present, can cause a person to relapse. Stress is also another trigger. Ensure the victim isn't stressed by asking someone else to help you prepare and decorate for the party.
2. Rehearse Responses
Many guests may not know the victim is a recovering alcoholic. Often, this isn't something he or she broadcasts. The person keeps this information private. That means, guests may unintentionally pressure or try to coax the victim into having a beer or a glass of wine.
To avoid this, the victim should practice how to politely say "no." Along with saying "no," he or she could also hold a non-alcoholic drink in their hand to avoid guests from asking.
To further help in your recovery, consider Fairwinds Treatment Center. Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of alcoholism by using a Dual Diagnosis approach. In using this tactic, Dr. El-Yousef and his staff of full-time psychiatrists, nursing professionals and licensed therapists work to first diagnosis the underlying reason behind a person's addiction. Upon understanding the cause, they can then treat the disease and its symptoms.