Dealing With Alcohol Addiction During the Holidays

Dear Lauren,

            Usually the holiday season is my favorite time of the year. I love seeing my family members that live far away and giving out presents to my loved ones. This year is going to be much different than the past. I have been sober for over six months, and I plan on staying that way. I know that being around alcohol is going to be very dangerous for a recovering addict like myself. How do I deal with alcohol around the holidays if I am trying to stay sober?


“Jolly and Nervous”

Alcohol addiction

Dear “Jolly and Nervous,”

            The holiday season is the most stressful time of the year for anyone. It involves spending money, seeing people you may not get along with, eating food you may not like, and constantly being around alcohol. Someone suffering from an alcohol addiction or a person that is recovering from an addiction is prone to a high risk of relapse during the holidays. If you suffer from alcohol addiction, rehab centers can teach you new ways to deal with stress that do not involve turning to harmful substances. Unfortunately, alcohol is a “socially acceptable” drug and it will always be around you. It is legal and people who are capable of drinking in moderation will want to have it, especially during the holidays. Your loved ones are most likely aware of you being sober, and will know not to offer you anything. If they do, make sure to let them know you are no longer drinking and they will know not to offer you again. You could also mention that you are driving later that night, and they will want you to be safe.

Best of luck,


Binge drinking and alcoholism

Dear Lauren,

            I am beginning to suspect that my sister is having a problem with drinking. She just turned 21, but she still lives with me and my parents. She has been drinking a lot every weekend, and even on Thursday nights too. I have seen her get ready with her friends and she takes over ten shots before they even walk out the door. She stumbles home late at night and when I see her in the morning she has no recollection of what she did the night before. Last week she got a ticket for peeing outside of a building. When I brought up the fact that all of this partying might not be good for her, she told me it was okay, because she only drank a few nights a week. Is this true? If not, how do I get help for her?


“Scared For my Sister”

Dear “Scared For My Sister,”

            It seems like your sister has been binge drinking. Since she just turned 21, she probably has thrown herself into the young adult drinking culture. It also seems as though she is blacking out on a regular basis. This can be extremely dangerous. She can end up in jail, or even dead. She is destroying her internal organs. Just because she takes a few days in between her drinking does not mean that she does not have a problem. She needs to get help and soon, before she ends up as a full-fledged alcoholic. She is experiencing all of the signs of alcoholism and if someone does not step in, she could ruin her life. Hopefully her ticket will be reduced, or after community service and/or a large fine it will get taken off her record. She is lucky she was not sent to sit out the night in a cell for public intoxication.  I think your best option is to get your parents involved. They love you and they love your sister and they would be devastated to learn that either of you are struggling with an addiction. They will have the resources to get her professional help.

Best of Luck,




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