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6 Ways to Resist Substance Temptation During the Holidays

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An Interview with Dr. William Fikter, MD, Associate Medical Director at Signature Health

The holidays are a stressful time of year for many people. All of the hustle and bustle, get-togethers with friends and family, and holiday work parties can be fun, but they can also have the opposite effect, especially for those battling alcohol or drug addiction.

We understand that the holiday season can bring about a lot of anxiety for our patients. So, we sat down with our Associate Medical Director, Dr. William Fikter, to chat about avoiding substance temptations this time of year. In the below video, he offers a handful of helpful tips. Also, be sure to check out the below list for additional details.

  1. Completely avoid tempting situations

For those actively struggling with addiction or for those in recovery, being in an environment where there is alcohol or drugs present can be triggering. If you know you have a relative who will try and talk you into a drink or a friend who hasn’t been the greatest influence, avoid the situation completely. You can also choose to make a quick appearance, but be sure to know your limits. Remaining sober (or becoming sober) is your number one priority.

  1. Lean on your sober support team

As Dr. Fikter mentions, surrounding yourself with supportive individuals this time of year, and whenever you can, is so important. Whether these people are family members, friends, or your “created family,” knowing you have someone in your corner can make all the difference. Maybe you have a friend who has gone through addiction recovery and understands the stress of the holidays? Lean on that person. It’s perfectly normal to need a little extra support this time of year.

  1. Know your limitations

Knowing your limits and understanding your triggers will help you stay sober during the holidays. When you are aware of the people, places, or things that could lead to a relapse, you’ll be able to plan better and avoid substance temptation all together. Put yourself first. Others may not understand why you can’t make it to Thanksgiving at grandma’s house or why you only stay for an hour at your company’s holiday party, but that’s OK. This is your journey and you need to do what’s in your best interest.

  1. Have your sponsor’s number on speed dial

Be sure to have your sponsor’s phone number readily available. This person is your ultimate source of sober support. They will be there for you in the moments you need it most. Another good idea is having a sober friend lined up that you can call in a pinch as a backup. Additionally, if you don’t have accessible transportation available, be sure to plan ahead for that as well. If you do encounter an uncomfortable situation, you want to be sure you are able to leave right away.

  1. Practice self-care

Enjoy your sobriety through the holidays by paying extra attention to your needs. Eating a healthy diet, getting some gentle exercise in each day, or even spending a few minutes meditating can do wonders for your mind and body. Try getting solid, uninterrupted sleep at night. Take your dog for a walk and get some sunshine. These are all great ways to practice self-care. The better you feel physically and emotionally, the better you’ll be able to maintain sobriety.

  1. If you need treatment for substance abuse or a mental health issue, consider going to rehab during the holidays

If you or someone you love are dealing with a mental health issue or drug/alcohol addiction and have yet to seek help, consider doing so during the holiday season. As we mentioned, the holidays can be a stressful and tempting time for those struggling, so why not use it as an opportunity to get the help you need? Remember that the greatest gift you can give yourself and your loved ones is your sobriety.

If you need immediate help or help during the holidays, we’re here for you. At Signature Health, you don’t need an appointment. Stop by during our walk-in hours and we’ll get you on the road to recovery.  

For more information about drug addiction, click here

For more information about alcohol addiction, click here.



Signature Health presents the information in this blog as a resource for our community. It is not intended to replace professional medical advice, to establish a physician-patient relationship, or to endorse any particular entity or service.