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Addiction and “The Holidays” Can be a Toxic Mix – But, Help is Available

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Ron Luce, a board member of the National Alliance for Recovery Residences and President of Ohio Recovery Housing, says “the Holidays” can be a troubling time for those addicted to drugs or alcohol –even those already in recovery.

Addiction is often linked with depression, according to Luce, and “the Holidays” can exacerbate emotions in the addict of isolation, shame and feelings associated with causing nothing but problems for family and friends.

Those negative feelings can even happen when someone is in “recovery.”

Therefore, relapses often occur for those in treatment during this time of year. These relapses occur most often in the first five years of recovery, says Luce.

Giving the recovering addict a sense of “community and connection” during this time is especially important.

Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) have been historically instrumental in providing that sense of community and support. However, according to Luce, there are now multiple options for a recovering addict beyond AA.

No longer does the treatment community believe that only one type of program is advantageous for recovery. Instead, a buffet table of different types of programs is available and a recovering addict can pick the program(s) best suited for his or her successful rehabilitation.

One type of program available for the recovering alcoholic or addict is a “Recovery House.” People live together in a safe, sober, “home-like” environment to support each other as they attempt re-entry into sober life and activities.

These types of residences are now available in over 20 states and enhance a recovering addict’s chances for success, according to Luce. For the protection of the recovering addict, regulations are being put in place in many states to guarantee the legitimacy of houses offering these services.