1. Discuss the Needs of the Substance Abuser in Recovery With Them
Make sure that you discuss the needs that the individual in recovery has for the holidays. This should not be awkward, and ignore the fact that there is a substance abuse problem will not help. Be direct but kind and compassionate, and ask so that you know what you can do to help.
2. Provide Unconditional Support, Even if a Relapse Occurs
The substance abuser really needs support during the holidays, and this is one of the riskiest times of year for a relapse. Even if the individual does relapse support them and offer advice on moving forward instead of dwelling on the mistake.
3. Include the Substance Abuser in the Holiday Preparations
During the holidays substance abusers may be kept from holiday preparations for many reasons, including a fear of being irresponsible or getting drunk or high and ruining things. Isolation can make someone in recovery relapse though, so include the friend or family member in ways that minimize the risks involved.
4. Don’t Ignore Substance Abuse or Fail to Praise the Recovery
Many people ignore the problem a substance abuser has, being unsure what to say or do. Treat the substance abuse like an illness, showing love and compassion for the individual while detesting the habit and the abuse that occurs.
5. Provide Suitable Alternatives at Parties and Family Meals
If you are hosting a party or family meal make sure that you provide suitable alternatives that the substance abuser can take advantage of. Avoid using spirits in foods, even if the alcohol is burned off, because the taste alone can cause cravings to occur.