Overcoming Temptations to Drink Over the Holidays
You probably are wondering how to overcome the temptation to drink during the holidays. The holiday season is a time when you attend several family events where there is time to eat, drink, and be merry. To stay sober, you need to learn how to control what triggers your urge to drink.
What Triggers Your Drinking
Staying away from alcohol is one of the important steps to stay sober. Unfortunately, that might not be possible during the holidays. Holidays are occasions to have fun with your friends and family, and most of the time alcohol plays a big role in the festivities. The most common relapse triggers for alcoholics are:
- Peer Pressure – It is very easy to be pressured to have “just one drink.” This one drink might turn into one or two more which leads to a relapse. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid socializing in places where alcohol is served.
- Withdrawal Symptoms – A person who is going through alcohol withdrawal can experience symptoms like headache, anxiety, nausea, fatigue, and nightmares. Many times, those symptoms can be severe that the person decides to consume alcohol to stop them. Consulting a medical professional and attending AA meetings can be very helpful in dealing with those issues.
- Emotional Distress – Very often, it is easy for a sober person to relapse if he or she suffers from emotional distress. This is why it is important to work with a mental health professional who will help you to cope with your emotions.
Staying sober is a huge commitment, and it takes more than one day to understand what your triggers are and learning how to cope with them.
Tips to Stay Sober
It is good to find someone close to you that will be with you during the holiday season. You can tell this person that most likely, there will be alcohol at the gathering you need to attend. Sometimes it is good to bring your own drinks. You can pack sodas or snacks and keep them in your hand. This might prevent someone at the party from coming up to you and offering you a drink. Staying close to people who support your recovery will help you enjoy holidays and not think about alcohol.
Many people who struggle with alcoholism do not reach out for help because it is often very hard for them to admit they have a problem. When a person notices that someone is struggling, it is important to support this person. This might mean getting help, which includes therapy to maintain sobriety, comprehensive rehabilitation program, or detox.
One example of alcoholism treatment includes motivational enhancement therapy. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is a counseling approach that helps individuals resolve their ambivalence about engaging in treatment and stopping their alcohol use. This approach aims to evoke rapid and internally motivated change, rather than guide the patient stepwise through the recovery process. (NIDA)
Motivation is a big factor in staying sober. If you lose the desire to maintain your recovery, a relapse will surely take hold of you. You’ll be back doing the same thing in no time, and holidays are often the time many people start drinking again. During this Thanksgiving, remember to always stay aware of the triggers and cravings that you may face.
Long Island Interventions offers addiction resources for drug addicts, alcoholics, families, and loved ones. We are located in Greater New York area including Long Island, Queens, and Staten Island. Many people dealing with temptations to drink find it difficult to stop drinking without professional help. We offer Interventions, Easy Detox, Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab. Call us for a free confidential assessment right now.