The holidays are usually a festive time of bonding with family and loved ones. But for recovering addicts, the holidays may bring up troublesome memories and opportunities to catch up with bad influences. If your recovering loved one is showing signs of detachment and aggravation, he or she may be on the brink of relapse. Here are five ways you can help your loved one stay sober this holiday season.

Tips for Helping Your Loved One Stay Sober during the Holidays

1. Be a Sober Ally

Going through recovery can feel isolating. Join your loved one in being sober during the holidays. Having someone else also abstaining from drugs and/or alcohol, can make your loved one feel more comfortable and safe. Being a sober ally to your loved one may also prevent them from reconnecting with old friends using drugs.

2. Prevent Conflict

Your recovering loved one needs to feel secure and welcomed at all times. Often, family members who are unaware of an addict’s recovery process, can make insensitive and sometimes triggering comments. Educate family members on your loved one’s addiction and treatment, and establish a stress-free environment during family holiday gatherings. Don’t allow them to feel like a stranger during the holidays.

3. Make New Sober Traditions

The holidays are usually a time where people indulge in not only food and shopping but also alcohol and drugs. Don’t put your loved one in environments that will encourage them to use. If your family has a New Year’s tradition of going to a local bar, switch up the tradition to an alternative drug-free celebration. Instead of having a party, keep all festivities as peaceful as possible. Recovering addicts may be reminded of old memories of drug abuse in party-like environments.

4. Come Early, Leave Early

Be sure to limit the time your loved one stays in what may be an upsetting environment. If you attend a party that may serve alcohol or other substances, arrive early and leave early. The longer your recovering loved one stays in a triggering environment, the more likely they are to use.

5. Find Meetings for Your Loved One to Attend While Home

Sometimes family support isn’t enough for a recovering addict. Make sure your loved one connects with others in recovery at sobriety meetings. Prior to your loved one’s arrival, find a meeting for them to attend. This will help them stay encouraged during the holidays.

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