Why Families of Recovering Should Plan Ahead This Holiday Season

For families of people recovering, a sobriety expert advises planning ahead for this holiday season.

Next week will begin the Thanksgiving holiday, which is a season when many can go overboard. And for those recovering, it can be difficult to stay sober if they find themselves surrounded by substances they prefer to avoid.

A counseling crisis coach suggests preparing in advance for situations that may challenge sobriety. Families need to be understanding and supportive, and people in recovery can plan to set boundaries and take care of themselves.

“If Johnny isn’t feeling safe, he needs to be able to tell family 911,” said Scott H. Silverman, crisis coach and family navigator.

“Let them know, ‘Look, it’s not a safe environment for me right now. I have to go to a meeting or I’ll go for a walk, ”he advised.

Families should do whatever they can to support them, “And Johnny needs to voice his feelings, fears and thoughts before he goes home,” Silverman said.

Silverman is the author of “The Opioid Epidemic: What You Don’t Know Will Destroy Your Family and Your Life”.

He said getting together over the holidays can be stressful even under the best of circumstances without the “perfect storm” of stressors, including the pandemic, quarantines, homeschooling, job losses and the events. catastrophic events that have led to skyrocketing rates of alcohol use and drug overdoses. .

“We are all meeting together for the first time physically in one, maybe even two years. The sensitivity levels are therefore going to be very, very high. And I really advise against families trying to use both ears before using their mouths, ”he said.

People who anticipate potential problematic behavior or that a loved one still uses or chronically self-heals can discuss this before the visit.

“Speak with Johnny honestly. Tell her how you feel and say, “Look, this vacation, we’d like to do it a little bit differently. Are you willing and open to listen to ideas and suggestions? ‘ Silverman said.

Families might also consider taking the vacation tour virtually.

If you or someone you care about is concerned about increased alcohol or other substance use, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a few suggestions that may help.

In addition, people can get confidential 24/7 help from the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The helpline offers referrals to local treatment centers, support groups and community organizations and helps callers order free publications and other information.
For those who prefer to text, you can send a TALK SMS to the 24/7 Crisis Text Line at 741-741 for confidential SMS assistance.

You can search by zip code to find behavioral health treatment services on the SAMHSA website.

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