Opinion: Help Those Recovering From Alcohol Dependence During the Holidays

The holiday season is a time to celebrate family and friendships. For many, the calendar is filled with invitations to parties and get-togethers.

For others, the holiday season is a time of increased pressure and stress. Those recovering from drug and alcohol dependence might feel anxious about accepting invitations to events where alcohol is involved. They might experience a feeling of isolation when an invitation is not extended.

The Community Mental Health and Recovery Board of Licking and Knox Counties offers tips for the host of get-togethers that promote inclusion of family members and friends who are recovering from substance abuse.

» If you are serving alcohol at a social event, make sure to include plenty of nonalcoholic beverages and place them in a prominent, easily accessible place.

» If you serve alcohol, consider not drinking to show your quiet support for your friend or family member who wants to stay sober.

» Avoid bringing attention to a friend’s recovery or treating them differently.

» Have a designated bartender rather than having guests pour drinks to avoid the situation where an unknowing or insensitive guest pressures others to have a drink.

Wendy Williams is the Executive director of the community Mental Health and Recovery Board of Licking and Knox Counties.

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