Open Before Drug or Alcohol Relapse

Our dual diagnosis outpatient San Diego addiction treatment centers have learned a lot about relapse during the holidays. The holiday season is one of the most common times for relapse for someone who is struggling with addiction, why is that? We’ll the answer is actually quite simple, in many homes holidays = food & drinking. This does not mean that alcoholics are the only ones who struggle during the holidays, it is a struggle for anyone who suffers with substance abuse. 

How many times have you had family over for Thanksgiving and made it a point to have the best wine glasses and wine on display.? What about for Christmas, even as child who remembers trying some egg nog? In many homes today these habits were formed even from a young age. Someone who struggles with addiction has temptation all around them. Another very common aspect of relapse is believing that you are able to partake like a “normal” individual or someone who does not struggle with addiction based on the joyous times around you. 

Dual Diagnosis Outpatient San Diego Reports, “What are the causes of relapse?”


Our dual diagnosis outpatient San Diego centers could name 1000’s of things that cause drug or alcohol relapse. However, at the core there are some core issues. Knowing and getting educated on relapse prevention will go a long way in maintaining long-term sobriety. If you have attended a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center, you should have learned relapse prevention skills. Individuals who do not have a substance use disorder undergo the same core issues as those with an addiction disorder. 

That poses the following question, “Who really struggles with relapse?” The short answer is everybody. A common saying used in a rehab setting is “H.A.L.T”. This stands for

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely 
  • Tired

Now you tell me what normal individual does not struggle with this on common basis. These are all triggers for an individual who struggles with addiction. During the holidays it is proven that many people go through all of these emotions even on a daily basis. In fact, from Thanksgiving to new years day there are the highest rates of relapse than of any other time of the year. Knowing this arms you with powerful information on avoiding relapse. For many the holidays are lonly times for many individuals.

The staff at our dual diagnosis outpatient San Diego centers know that loneliness is key component in addiction. Imagine being that person that sees all these families having an amazing time together and just enjoying their time, and you are home alone. Loneliness is a defining factor as to why someone with an addiction would struggle staying sober. With loneliness can come pain and with pain the normal human being wants to find escape. It is easier to get intoxicated or get high than it is to deal with the sadness and despair that comes with loneliness. 

Why Does Stress Cause Drug and Alcohol Relapse?


On the opposite side of the spectrum there is REAL stress during the holidays. We as a culture have put a lot of emphasis on having the best presents, the best decorations  or even the best food. Trying to have the best of everything can also take a huge financial toll on someone. You may not have enough money, or you may be putting yourself further in a financial debt just to have a “good” holiday.

With all of the stressors comes anxiety. These factors all relate to mental health. Harmony grove recovery is a leading mental health treatment center in San Diego, California. We have in-depth information and experience on treating mental health issues. Having a health mental health is critical in substance abuse treatment. Normal human nature and dynamics says our body and mind do not like to have this anxiety or stress at a certain level. So what do you do when you feel these emotions? Well most addicts will tell you that they have learned to cope in their own way. “I drink a few glasses of wine”, or “I’ll just smoke enough to get rid of my anxiety”, common mindsets of an addict. It becomes way to easy of an excuse during the holiday season to be able to relapse and feel as though you had good reason too.

The truth of the matter is, is that we have just as many stressors in our normal life outside of the holidays but we were just focused on one thing. It seems easy to think that you can just partake during the holiday season in your drug or drink of choice because well, everyone else is doing it. Where as individuals that struggle with addiction often forget they cannot have a normal relationship with their substance and probably will never be able to.

According to Our Dual Diagnosis Outpatient San Diego Team the Holidays Mean More Alcohol Consumption

The staff at our dual diagnosis outpatient San Diego rehabilitation centers reminded us of an important study. The study published by NCBH (National Center for Biotechnology Information) determined there was a significant increase and trend in the amount of alcohol consumed on Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, with small increases at Christmas. Why is this ? Well again, a lot of it has to do with our society and culture today. Peer pressure is a real and true thing. It’s easy for someone who does not struggle with addiction to say “come on, it’s just one drink it is not going to hurt you”. The truth of the matter is for an addict, it absolutely will.

The credtnialed counselors at our dual diagnosis outpatient San Diego substance abuse treatment centers have learned about the excuses people use. Those who struggle with addiction know that a lot of the reason their addiction has gotten as bad as it has is because they have no self control or poor self control. It is much harder for someone who struggles with alcoholism to not get that second or third glass of wine. Really with any individual the minute you use any substance you lower your inhibitions and have a decrease in motor function. So physically speaking once you get started it’ll be much harder to stop. 

Holidays Cause Recovery Habits to Go On Vacation

Another major reason an individual relapses within the holiday season discovered by our dual diagnosis outpatient drug rehabs San Diego staff is simply because they loose track or all together stop their normal daily routine. You can have an individual who regularly goes to groups, or meets with a therapist but due to the holidays some schedule changes had to be made. Maybe you go out of town to see family or maybe your therapist or groups are not meeting due to other holiday arrangements.

For someone who struggles with addiction routine is key, and if you break your routine it does not take much to fall right back into your old habits. With out a sense or normalcy an addict can easily try to fill that void with their drug or substance or choice. At our San Diego drug rehabs we see a 50-75 percent increase in intakes after the holidays with a majority of those individuals being someone that was already on the road to recovery. This is a national trend with all drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers.

An Important Thing to Remember During the Holiday Seasons Are to Maintain Progress


At our mental health treatment San Diego centers we teach the importance of maintaining the new healthy long-term recovery routine schedule. In most cases this helps our clients avoid triggers or stressors, this can be anything from financial to being around someone who is using a substance. Some of the key areas we stress include the following ways.

  • keep to your normal routine, make sure you still attend your meetings with your therapist or groups
  • Set- up extra therapeutic time or group time in preparation for the inevitable stress that comes with the holidays
  • Attempt to fill your time with sober activities, such as bowling, golfing, reading etc. 

Lastly and most importantly take accountability. You have already made great progress in your recovery and have been able to maintain sobriety. The time of year is not relevant to the progress you have made, always remember to reflect on progression. If you or a loved are having a difficult time during the holidays, feel free to give our family a call now (760) 697-0497. Our caring staff at the dual diagnosis outpatient San Diego treatment centers are always here to help in any way possible. Avoiding a relapse can be a simple ask a phone call.

About Charles Davis

CEO of Behavioral health Network Resources drug rehab marketing, SEO and consulting agency. We guide and educate on search engine optimization strategies for leads generation. Our main focus is to educate on proven drug and alcohol addiction treatments. This includes evidence based techniques and the proper use of medication assisted treatment (MAT). We believe in only providing our drug rehab SEO marketing services to the best and most qualified centers.