The Holidays Look Different for Everyone
Although we often see advertisements, magazines and TV shows talking about the holidays being the happiest time of the year, this isn’t a universal experience. The holiday season can present a completely new set of challenges to those that are in recovery. From returning to old environments to alcoholic drinks being present at many, sometimes stressful, family events – there are potential triggers that come along with the holidays. While planning can help prepare you for success over the holidays, it’s also important to have resources available at the ready as you need them this season! For this reason, we’ve gathered together a few key substance use disorder resources intended to support you at any time of the year. We hope they can serve as a safety net as you get excited about experiencing the holidays in recovery!
Recovery looks different from person to person, so we’ve chosen the top resources that anyone can use to better support themselves. If you find yourself struggling this holiday season, please do not hesitate to utilize any of the resources listed below. Leaning on the support of others during difficult or challenging moments is one of the most important strategies in recovery, and we’re here to help remind you of the network of support that is always available to you at no cost.
‘Tis The Season for Sharing Recovery Resources!
SAMHSA’s National Helpline
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders (SAMHSA). SAMHSA also provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Visit their online treatment locator service to see what options are available in your area.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who come together to solve their drinking problem. It doesn’t cost anything to attend A.A. meetings. There are no age or education requirements to participate. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about their drinking problem (Alcoholics Anonymous). Find a meeting anywhere with their meeting locator or join virtually in their ongoing online meeting that runs 24 hours and 7 days a week.
Narcotics Anonymous is a global, community-based organization with a multilingual and multicultural membership. NA was founded in 1953, and members hold nearly 76,000 meetings weekly in 143 countries today (Narcotics Anonymous). Search for a meeting in your area with their meeting locator or find a virtual meeting that is held online or by phone.
An important part of recovery is giving back to the communities that need it most, especially during the holidays. Service work not only supports individuals in need, but can keep you busy during a time when you might not have a consistent schedule. Through the Salvation Army, volunteering opportunities vary depending on where you live. All Salvation Army locations need help in their food shelves, toy shops, and supporting youth programs. You can also assist with bell ringing at those famous red kettles during the Christmas season. Find an opportunity to volunteer here (Salvation Army).
Certified Peer Recovery Specialists
Certified Peer Recovery Specialists (CPRSs) are individuals in recovery who walk alongside you as you begin your personal recovery journey. CPRSs support their peers by providing resources such as transportation, attending meetings alongside their peers, mentorship and so much more. You can connect with a Kyros CPRS now by telling us a little bit about you here. We’ll match you with someone who can begin supporting you right away.
The Holidays Aren’t Always Merry and Bright …
For some, the holidays can be a very happy time of the year, but for others it is a much different experience. It’s important to approach this time of year with compassion in mind, especially if you have mixed feelings about the holidays. The important thing is that you meet yourself where you are at, leaning into the support that is available to you when you need it.
Whether you’re looking to attend a group, volunteer or just speak with a peer in recovery, finding the right mix of support can keep you on track in your recovery during this time. Let’s approach this season with the tools we need, wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!
Looking to Give More Back to Your Community This Season?
If you’re already involved in volunteer efforts, or you’re looking for another opportunity to support your community – think about becoming a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS). CPRSs offer critical peer-to-peer support to the individuals they work with, and help to create a recovery plan that works specific to each individual. You can read all about peer recovery services here. Ready to start training as a CPRS now? Sign up for one of our training courses here.
SAMHSA. “Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration.” SAMHSA, August 2022. https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline. Accessed 30 November 2022.
Alcoholics Anonymous. “Find A.A. Near You (World).” Alcoholics Anonymous, December 2021, https://www.aa.org/find-aa. Accessed 30 November 2022.
Narcotics Anonymous. “Find a Meeting Near You: Narcotics Anonymous World Services.” Narcotics Anonymous, 2021, https://www.na.org/meetingsearch/. Accessed 30 November 2022.
Salvation Army. “Volunteer In Your Local Community.” Salvation Army, 2022, https://salvationarmynorth.org/northern/volunteer. Accessed 30 November 2022.