Holiday Recovery Tips

The holidays can be a joyful time, but for individuals in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction the holidays can present obstacles in maintaining sobriety. No matter what stage of recovery you or a loved one is in, it is always important to have a plan to deal with any potential relapse triggers. Guidance and support may be exactly what you and your family need this holiday season. Below are a few suggestions from the experts at Fairbanks on how to have a safe and sober holiday season.

Tips for friends and family of a person in recovery

  • Create new family holiday traditions that do not include alcohol. This will allow you and your family to make new, sober memories.

  • Be supportive. Approach a friend or family member in recovery and let them know you’re glad they are sharing the holidays with you and that they are sober.

  • Make sure your friends or family members in recovery are comfortable at your holiday gathering. Have a conversation with them ahead of time and ask if there is anything you can do to help them feel at ease.

  • Model responsible behavior at your holiday party and ask that other friends and family members do the same. Let your guests know that substance abuse will not be tolerated at your gathering.

Tips for those in recovery

  • Spend time with those who support you and your recovery.

  • Give freely of your time. The holidays are a great time of year to do volunteer work and be of service to someone else.

  • Support meetings are offered around the clock. Have a meeting schedule handy and don’t hesitate to go to one.

  • Have an exit plan when attending holiday parties. Make sure you and your family know how to get out of a risky situation.

  • Go to parties a little early before most of the drinking starts and make your exit when you feel the time is appropriate.

  • Feel free to bring your favorite nonalcoholic beverage to parties with you, so you will be assured of having a nonalcoholic choice.

  • Remember to breathe, relax and build in extra time for personal care.

If you feel that you might need additional support for your recovery during the holidays, or know someone who does, call an addiction professional at Fairbanks. You can talk to a counselor confidentially to determine how alcohol or drugs may be affecting your life or the life of a loved one. Call Fairbanks at 317.849.8222 or visit