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A local health expert says that the holidays can be a time of joy and happiness for most people... But not for people struggling with addictions.
CEO of Muskingum Behavioral Health, Steve Carrel says that the holidays often remind addicts of the worse times in their lives and it makes them vulnerable to relapsing.
"Their past use and abuse, there's some negative memories while everybody is in the family getting together spirit they have a history of maybe causing problems within the family," said Carrel.
Carrel says that the cold weather, higher levels of alcohol use and celebrations are other triggers for addicts. He suggests that people struggling with addiction connect with others who are also on a path to sobriety.
"Make sure people who are recovering from addictions don't want to isolate themselves. They have to find new ways of celebrating, new places to go, and people to be with and make sure you are in a supportive atmosphere, " said Carrel.
He suggest people find support groups, sponsors and healthy activities to keep them busy throughout the holiday season. For everyone else celebrating the holidays, he says beware of consuming high levels of alcohol with caffeine to stay to awake, it's a dangerous combination. For more information people can visit Muskingum Behavioral Health for tips, advice or counseling.