Alcohol and Drug Abuse During the Holidays

The holidays are the time of year when friends and families gather to celebrate the joys of the season. Unfortunately, too many people either drink alcohol to excess or increase their drug use over this period which can lead to misery, accidents and even fatalities.

Statistically, drug and alcohol use rise considerably over the holiday season. Understanding the relationship of drug and alcohol to the holiday season is generally the first step towards treating the effects before they actually occur. While most people do not use drug or alcohol on a regular basis, more of them do during the holiday season than any other time of the year.

Here are a few reasons why the use of alcohol and drugs rise during this time of year.

Depression

While most people are thrilled at the arrival of the holiday season, some are not. In fact, many people get depressed during the holidays for a number of reasons.

–       Loneliness

–       Isolation

–       Relationship Issues, family conflict

–       Stress, over doing, overwhelm

Using alcohol or drugs for relief or to escape painful memories is quite common.  People are more vulnerable to stress and depression during the holidays because of the family and social aspects of the season.  In fact, many people tell themselves they deserve to indulge themselves to cope with the loneliness, stress, conflict, and isolation they are vulnerable to during this time of the year.

Parties

Getting together with old friends means that there are plenty of parties to get together to celebrate the holidays. Unfortunately, some people will drink too much and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle. The feelings of the holidays combined with celebration are often too much for people to handle. For reasons that are as individual as each person, they indulge to the point of dangerous intoxication.

Alcohol is the most frequently abused substance and it is often served at parties.  However, marijuana, cocaine and other drugs are also used as well by many who are looking for an additional escape. There may also be deep seated reasons, such as childhood traumas, that also account for why some people overindulge during the holiday season.  On the other hand, quite often the over indulgence of alcohol and drugs can simply be because the opportunity presents itself.

The holidays are often a time when we take several days off to be with our family, which means that there is no thought of work or responsibility which might otherwise hold back many people who overindulge. By New Year’s Eve, the sense of indulgence is heightened as we celebrate the incoming new year. Given the environment promotes the indulgence in alcohol and drugs, it’s little wonder that the use of both skyrockets during this time.

Alcohol and drug use are unfortunately the most common around the holiday season.  If you find yourself drinking or drugging to excess, or feel out of control of your alcohol or drug use, consider asking for help.  If you have been clean and sober, the holidays are unfortunately a time of high relapse.

Fortunately, there is now an Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse.   Our programs provide services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  If you or a loved one is showing signs of alcohol or drug abuse, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan that can result in recovery.  Treatment for substance abuse can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.

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