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Holiday season can pose risk for recovering addicts

Posted at 5:13 AM, Dec 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-23 17:21:58-05

For many people, the holiday season is focused on spending time with friends and family. But, Lee Pioske with The Crossroads, Inc. says, for recovering addicts, the holiday season could be what sends them over the edge. 

"If you think about people, especially people who have families and they've started to use drugs or drink excessively and they've drifted away from their families," Pioske explained. "So, around the holiday time everybody wants to be around their family and sometimes when you're an addict, that's a really difficult thing to do."

The Crossroads, Inc. has a handful of facilities around the Valley and is licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services as a substance abuse treatment provider.

Pioske wants all of us to take action for our family members who are struggling and make sure not to let the holiday sweep serious issues under the rug. 

"Nobody wants an addict in their family," Pioske said about the stigma surrounding addiction. "Nobody wants that child or mom or dad or grandfather that's in the corner with his bottle or whatever, they kind of want that person to just disappear and go away. Don't let that happen. Help that person. That's a life." 

Pioske suggests taking that family member aside and talking to them one-on-one.

"Because they're difficult, a lot of people shy away from those conversations," Pioske said. "Please don't do that, especially with your young folks at home."

He also offers these tips for avoiding:

1. Sleep and eat - take care of your body and mind by getting enough sleep and eating regular healthy meals.

2. Practice willpower - flex your willpower muscle by finding situations to avoid temptation. Meditation and breathing exercises can help

3. Know your triggers - HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired)

4. Bring the party with you - Plan ahead. If alcohol will be a temptation, bring your favorite non-alcoholic drinks with you

5. Surround yourself with support - Bring a supportive friend to a party, go to meetings, stay close to friends and family who are helping you with your path to recovery 

For more information about The Crossroads and receiving treatment, click here