CENTER CITY, Minn., Dec. 7 Stressful. Weird. Dangerous. Unusual adjectives to describe what traditionally is known as the most festive of seasons. But to millions of people in recovery from addiction to alcohol or other drugs, holiday stress can trigger relapse. Many more Americans face the anxiety of dealing with intoxicated loved ones during holiday get-togethers or with the uncertainty of how to act around someone in treatment and recovery.
"For so many, the holidays are not a joyous time of the year, but a season filled with loneliness, anxiety, self-doubt and unachievable expectations that can result in serious consequences if not managed early," says Joseph Lee, M.D., a child and adolescent psychiatrist and addiction specialist with Hazelden, who is available for media interviews this holiday season. "The holidays can stir up old issues and emotions when spending time with family and friends."
As part of its national outreach campaign, "Four Generations Overcoming Addiction," the internationally renowned nonprofit addiction treatment center Hazelden advises that cross-generational family gatherings are an opportune time to support those in recovery and loved ones struggling with addiction issues.
HOLIDAY TIPS FOR ALL FAMILIES
HOLIDAY TIPS FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY OF A PERSON IN RECOVERY
HOLIDAY TIPS FOR THOSE IN RECOVERY
To download a free copy of these holiday coping tips, and for more information about supporting loved ones who are addicted or in recovery, visit www.fourgenerations.org.
About Hazelden - Hazelden, a national nonprofit organization founded in 1949, helps people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. Built on decades of knowledge and experience, Hazelden offers a comprehensive approach to addiction that addresses the full range of patient, family, and professional needs, including treatment and continuing care for youth and adults, research, higher education, public education and advocacy, and publishing. It has facilities in Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York and Florida.
-- Model Desired Behavior at Holiday Parties. In a survey released in October 2009, Hazelden found that 90 percent of teens view their parents as role models on issues of using alcohol or other drugs. Holiday family gatherings are an ideal venue in which parents and grandparents can demonstrate the responsible use of alcohol to younger generations. -- Share Your Stories. Personal stories can be enormously powerful in changing lives. In the same 2009 survey, Hazelden found that nearly two-thirds of teens said hearing their parents' stories about past alcohol or drug use would make them more responsible about their own substance use. Holiday get-togethers are a great time to share stories from one generation to the next. -- Set Boundaries. If there is known alcohol or other drug use among family members, set firm boundaries around family celebrations. Let family members know ahead of time that substance abuse will not be tolerated during your festivities.