Drug addiction and Thanksgiving can make a turbulent mix. For many, the Thanksgiving holiday comes with the stress of navigating deep-seated family tensions and the anxiety of saying the wrong thing to the wrong person. These fears are especially prevalent when a family member is struggling with a substance addiction. For these families, just the thought of maintaining peace in the midst of their loved one’s addiction can make Thanksgiving celebrations feel overwhelming rather than blissful. Even if a loved one is in the early stages of recovery, mishandling the emotional tension of Thanksgiving can push a struggling family member away and further strain your relationship. If you’re worried about how to manage a loved one’s addiction while maintaining the peace this Thanksgiving, here are five tips to help make your holiday as stress-free as possible.
Tips for Dealing with Addiction During Thanksgiving
Dealing with addiction during Thanksgiving can be tough. The following are some tips for addiction during Thanksgiving:
Control Your Expectations
Holding on to the expectation of hosting the perfect Thanksgiving dinner is a recipe for disaster. There is no such thing as a perfect holiday when you’re mixing various personalities and age groups in one place. Even families that don’t have a loved one who has an addiction struggle to manage family tensions during the holiday season. T
Set boundaries that your addicted family member must adhere to to participate in Thanksgiving with the family. Doing so will help you feel more in control of the situation. Boundaries will also help you stay sane leading up to and during the Thanksgiving celebration. Make sure the boundaries you create are simple and reasonable.
Talk to Relatives
As many families know, addiction doesn’t just affect the person struggling but everyone around them. If you’ve noticed that one of your family members may be struggling with addiction, chances are that many of your other family members have also noticed. Take some time before Thanksgiving to talk about your concerns with the other members of your family. Many of them are probably thinking and feeling the same things you are.
Make it a Sober Thanksgiving
You’ve set the boundaries, you’ve notified your family, and your expectations are in the right place- now it’s time to show a little support for your loved one struggling with addiction. You can do this by discreetly getting rid of spiked foods or alcoholic beverages at your Thanksgiving celebration. By offering an alcohol-free environment, you’re reducing the chances of something going wrong at Thanksgiving.
Build your own support system
You’re not the only person struggling with a family member’s addiction. There are plenty of people going through the same things as you this holiday season, and they could have some helpful insights. Reach out to your local Al-Anon and Nar-Anon chapters and sign up for a meeting around Thanksgiving. Talking with people going through the same thing as you can be extremely therapeutic. It could also help you feel more prepared to juggle your Thanksgiving prep and your family member’s addiction.
With some prep and empathy, coping with a loved one’s drug addiction and Thanksgiving plans can work.
Benefits of Addiction Treatment
While you should have empathy and understanding, it’s also important to remember that your loved one with addiction may need professional help and support. Addiction treatment can provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals struggling with substance abuse. Here are some benefits of seeking addiction treatment:
- Professional medical care – Addiction is a complex disease and requires expert medical attention for successful recovery.
- Individualized treatment plan – Each person’s addiction journey is unique, and an individualized treatment plan can address their specific needs.
- Therapy and counseling – Addiction often has underlying emotional or psychological factors, which therapy and counseling can help address.
- Support system – Addiction treatment programs offer a supportive community of peers who understand the struggles of addiction.
- Education on relapse prevention – Learning about triggers, coping mechanisms, and other skills can help prevent relapse in the future.
- Aftercare support – Addiction treatment programs often provide aftercare support to help individuals maintain sobriety and continue their recovery journey.
At Vertava Health, our addiction treatment programs offer a comprehensive approach to healing and recovery. Our team of professionals is dedicated to helping individuals and families overcome the challenges of addiction and find long-lasting wellness.
Call Vertava Health Today
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please contact us at 844.470.0410 to learn more about our services and how we can support you on your journey towards a healthier lifestyle. Remember, there is always hope for a brighter future, even during the toughest times like Thanksgiving. So, let’s make this Thanksgiving a time for gratitude, understanding, and compassion toward those affected by addiction.