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Guide to Avoiding Holiday Relapse this Thanksgiving

Statistics show that maintaining sobriety through the holiday season is a difficult thing to do.  Without a doubt, beating addiction of any kind at all is not easy, but once one is sober the holidays are the worst days for attempting to really achieve lasting and steady, permanent sobriety.  This is the time of year where the greatest celebration occurs, and it is also the time of year when people who do not normally partake in substances do in fact partake.  What does this mean for the average recovering addict?  Bad news indeed and a lot of work ahead to be able to stay clean from those very substances.  Recovering addicts are sadly more likely to relapse around Thanksgiving and Christmas than any other time of the year.

The Statistics on Relapse

Drug and alcohol addiction is a gruesome crisis to have to deal with.  It has always been a traumatic incident to say the least.  Beating addiction is no easy achievement, and even more difficult than that staying sober and recovered from addiction is even more trying.  Listed below are some of the statistics on this issue, provided here as context:

  • Drug and alcohol rehab statistics show to us that the overall percentage of people who will relapse after a period of recovery ranges anywhere from 50% to 90% depending on which rehab program they go to and what steps they take after rehab is completed. This is a frightening statistic and it is often used as justification for those who wish to carry on with their addiction, though the truth of the matter is that the recovering addict is 100% in control of his or her own future.
  • There are many dangerous side effects and issues that plague those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol and their loved ones too.  However, of all of these effects, none are more devastating than the death of the user.  As devastating as this is though, it sadly is quite common.  About one in four deaths in the United States can be attributed to illicit drug, alcohol, and tobacco use.  When it comes to drugs though, ninety percent of deaths that occur happen during a relapse.
  • Drug and alcohol use is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in America killing around 570,000 people a year.  These deaths come from overdoses, relapses, drunk driving, drugged driving, drug crime, violence, and other accidents and injuries and incidents of poisoning.  Substance abuse by far is a major, leading cause of preventable death in the United States, ranking in only behind smoking and obesity.

Avoiding the Problem

It is key to remember and think with your goals and your intentions that got you off of drugs and alcohol in the first place.  These are by far the key and the most important factors here.

The first thing to do is to always remember your goals and your intentions for beating addiction in the first place.  Those will come to your aide the most when you try to best an addiction crisis.  Next, be sure to call upon your support network, namely the people who have pledged their help and their assistance to you in the past.  These individuals can provide succor and aide to you if times get tough.  Finally, check into an aftercare center.  An outpatient aftercare center is any organization that offers services to recovering addicts.  It is that center that essentially pushes past the veneer that rehab by itself can fully cure people for good, and it helps people who, though they may have already beaten addiction, still seem to be struggling quite a bit with an addiction problem.

Staying sober is always going to be a trial and error conquest, but the choices that a person makes and the cards that he or she plays in life will to a greater or lesser degree definitely alter his or her overall success.  Now more than ever, it is up to the recovering addicts themselves to stay clean and sober during the holiday months.

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