This article was originally published February 5, 2020. Written by Hillary Webster and Munis Topcuoglu (EHN Canada). Updated February 3, 2021. My Friend Jane One weekend afternoon, I was chatting with a friend. We’ll call her Jane, for privacy’s sake. It was wonderful to catch up and share what was going on in each others’ … Read more
Written by Jo Colette, recovered addict, tattoo artist, and mom. The holidays with your family–whether in-person or virtual–can be stressful and demanding, but Jo shares how she survived her first Christmas in recovery back with her family, as well as her tips and tricks that you can use to thrive over the holidays. This article … Read more
The holiday season is often extremely stressful both for people with drug or alcohol addiction and also for their families. Individuals with addictions experience fear and shame as they feel they’re constantly deceiving or disappointing their family members. Their family members experience the pain of witnessing their loved one suffer—or worse, they may be directly harmed by the actions of their loved one who has a drug or alcohol addiction. Consequently, both individuals with addiction, as well as their families, should consider whether the winter holiday season may actually be the best time of the year to go for inpatient drug or alcohol rehab. When you think about it—starting addiction recovery during the holidays makes a lot of sense.
Drug and alcohol addiction are conditions that affect not only the substance user but the people close to them as well. The dynamics of addiction and family members can result in a range of harmful interactions and outcomes that make addiction a family disease. Family members of individuals with addiction often struggle with addiction themselves. However, even if an individual grows up in a family with addiction and doesn’t develop an addiction themselves, they’ll still be more likely to struggle with trauma, mental health, and developmental disorders. Furthermore, the many family roles in addiction can produce codependent or enabling behaviours that perpetuate the addiction.
So, you know someone with drug addiction or alcoholism and you want to help them, but you have no idea where to start? We understand that approaching such conversations constructively can be very difficult in the best of times—and even more difficult currently, with increased stress levels and social tensions due to COVID. This article … Read more