For most people, the winter holidays are a time of joy and celebration. However, if you’re recovering from opioid addiction, this time of year can be challenging, too. Between well-meaning questions from family members and the financial stress of gift-giving and travel, you may find yourself facing more triggers and cravings than usual.
Staying sober during the holidays is possible, even for those fighting opioid addiction. By focusing on what brings you joy and choosing not to get pulled into negativity, you will remain strong during the upcoming season.
1. Choose Forethought
This holiday season may require you to plan ahead. Always take your own car to holiday gatherings so that you can escape if needed. Also, pay close attention to your relapse triggers. If you find yourself getting stressed, angry or tired, don’t feel guilty about leaving or taking a step back to decompress.
2. Choose Self-Care
For many, the holidays are fast-paced. Each minute is filled to the brim with people, activities and parties. Don’t feel like you need to dedicate your entire holiday vacation to others. Instead, celebrate the holiday season by taking care of your body, mind and soul. Treat yourself to something that brings you joy, whether that’s a massage, a yoga class, a pedicure or a late-night movie.
3. Choose Meaningful Relationships
Rather than making the holidays about gift-giving or big events, intentionally focus on the people you love and building relationships. Go into each party or gathering looking to establish a real connection. You may find yourself rekindling old bonds or making new friendships.
4. Choose Boundaries
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the erratic nature of the holiday season. In some families, the holidays are a time to bring up past hurts and wounds. If a family member insists on bringing up your struggle with opioid addiction, you have the right to excuse yourself, walk away or even leave the premises. This holiday season, surround yourself with supportive loved ones who encourage your sobriety and celebrate your victories.
5. Choose Fun and Food
The fact that you’re in recovery from opioid addiction doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the joy and excitement of the holiday season. There are plenty of ways to enjoy sober fun. Gather your friends together for a game night. Or, weather permitting, go out for some sledding or snowman building. Of course, no holiday would be complete without traditional holiday eats. While you shouldn’t overdo it, feel free to indulge your tastebuds in the foods that inspire your holiday cheer.
6. Choose New Traditions
As you begin a new journey of sobriety during the holidays, why not make new traditions? There are so many fun things you can do to fill your time. Host a holiday dinner with your sober friends each year, holding each other accountable during the holiday season. Decorate cookies, go ice skating, look at the neighborhood lights and take in the joy of the season. Maybe even incorporate a Secret Santa exchange, getting each other fun gifts to look forward to.
7. Choose Giving Back
As stated in so many holiday songs, this is the season of giving. Take time to give back to others in your community for a rewarding experience. Serve meals at a soup kitchen, spend time in a local nursing home or play with animals in a shelter — there are so many ways to be of service. Even helping in the smallest ways can give others a feeling of hope, especially if they cannot be with their families during the holidays. Volunteering for meaningful activities will benefit both yourself and others.
8. Choose Gratitude
Our society’s commercialization of the holidays would have you believe that this season is about partying, gifts and glitzy decorations. However, no matter your faith or spiritual beliefs, the holidays can be boiled down to one core value — gratitude. If you can focus on the people and circumstances that have brought you joy, everything else will fade away.
9. Choose a Treatment Plan
The holiday season can be joyful, but it can also be overwhelming. If you find yourself struggling with the holidays and sobriety, there is no shame in checking into a rehabilitation program. Taking charge of your health and recovery can be the best gift you give yourself and those who love you.
Holiday Treatment Plans at All MedMark Treatment Centers
At MedMark, we have several openings available to discuss opioid addiction treatment during the holidays with you. Upon the initial consultation, we will sit down with you and figure out what treatment can best fit your needs. Choose from:
- Methadone treatment: Opioid use treatment with methadone is one of our two medication-assisted treatment (MAT) options. This medication works by acting similarly to other opioids, activating the same receptors in the brain. This effect satisfies the body’s need for cravings, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
- Buprenorphine treatment: This medication is the second MAT option. Buprenorphine triggers the same response as methadone but to a lesser degree. It will reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings with a “ceiling effect,” limiting the ability to feel euphoric.
- Substance use counseling: We pair all MAT with substance use counseling to give you the best chance of success. Counseling can help by giving you tips and resources on preventing relapse, especially during the holiday season. This accountability with a trained counselor is essential to recovery by addressing all aspects of addiction.
- District of Columbia
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
Contact MedMark Treatment Centers If You Need Help Fighting Opioid Addiction During the Holidays
If you’re struggling with opioid addiction, you don’t have to do it alone. The addiction professionals at MedMark want to help you overcome opioid use disorder so that you can look forward to many joyful holiday seasons to come. We have locations across the United States. Contact us today to learn how you can begin medication-assisted treatment at MedMark.