The holidays are among the most common times of the year for drug use and binge drinking. Holidays can serve as triggers or encourage excessive partying, increasing your risk of overdosing. First Night is the biggest reason why January is second only to December in the number of drug and alcohol-related deaths.
Substance abuse, addiction, and alcoholism are deadly diseases. Overdoses are currently the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50, while alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death. Addiction is a chronic condition that requires treatment because symptoms need to be managed for the remainder of your life. Since addiction impairs your judgment and changes your brain chemistry, it can lead to dangerous decisions and building a tolerance.
Addiction, Alcoholism, and First Night
Addiction causes you to compulsively abuse drugs despite experiencing negative consequences as a result of your use or having a strong desire to quit. Drugs and alcohol are neurotransmitter inhibitors that cause changes to your judgment, behavior, and emotions. Negative emotions, like stress, anger, and depression, can cause you to increase your drug and alcohol use.
Holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and First Night can increase conflict and stress, which can cause you to increase your drug use. The widespread availability of drugs and alcohol at First Night parties can also make it easier to access substances. Since negative life events can force you to increase your drug use during addiction, the holiday season can be especially dangerous during addiction.
Depression and anxiety are more prevalent during the winter months, and holidays can increase stress, which can cause a toxic combination. First Night is a common holiday for binge drinking. Drunk driving is also common on First Night, making car accidents increasingly prevalent.
How Addiction is Treated
When you develop a physical or psychological addiction, drugs and alcohol control your life. While it takes time to develop an addiction, common signs and symptoms can include:
- Needing to increase your use as your tolerance builds
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you immediately stop using
- Spending the majority of your time and money using or acquiring your substance of choice
- Denying or concealing your drug or alcohol use
- Friends or family members confronting you about your substance use
Substance abuse treatment includes both inpatient and outpatient options, which focus on combining evidence-based and holistic therapies to provide you with the skills, tools, and support necessary to recover. Since certain substances can lead to physical dependency, treatment is especially beneficial because detox programs can reduce and alleviate your symptoms.
Evidence-based treatments like cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy help you identify and change negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Learning how to process your emotions and make better decisions helps you cope with triggers and cravings. Relapse prevention education helps you recognize what your triggers are and develop a plan for how to cope with them.
During addiction, you use drugs and alcohol as your coping strategy. Thus, why many phases of treatment focus on improving your judgment and communication skills. Another aspect of treatment is crafting a strong discharge plan, which can help you create healthy living arrangements.
Finding Help Today
Holidays like First Night can make it difficult to avoid using drugs and alcohol. Since many First Night celebrations encourage binge drinking, it can be an especially dangerous time of year. Overdose rates are highest in December and January, making it essential to reach out for help if you are battling an addiction. Call us today at 855.259.1624 to find out more about how our programs can help you achieve recovery.