Sunday, August 1st, 2021

Helping people in recovery during the holidays

Posted: Friday, December 18, 2020

Submitted by Bowen Center

For some people the holidays can trigger traumatic memories, a time of great pain and overindulgence. For those in recovery from substance use this can be an especially difficult and overwhelming time to maintain sobriety. Many prepare for weeks with mental health professionals to help put in place plans to help them safely navigate this time. There are things friends and family can do to help their loved one stay on the path to recovery.

It is vital to have a plan for how to avoid relapse and what to do if it does happen. A relapse prevention plan is a vital tool for anyone in recovery. Having a plan helps in recognizing personal behaviors that may point to relapse in the future. It also outlines ways to combat those behaviors and get back on track. Most often, a relapse prevention plan is a written document a person creates with their treatment team and shares with their support group. The plan offers a course of action for responding to triggers and cravings.

Things that can be done to help friends, family or a loved one stay on track during the holidays can include; making sure they connect with their support network to continue their path of recovery. Be sure there is a plan “B” for those “what if “moments.” The plan B can include a list of local resources like AA, NA, support groups, number to treatment facilities or other community resources. Also, it is helpful to have a specific plan/schedule of what the individual is doing for the holidays and to ask their support system to check in with them to make sure they follow through.

If you or a loved one needs support, The Bowen Center offers individualized, confidential treatment with tele-health and in-person options. For more information or to schedule an appointment call (800) 342-5653 or visit