Connecting with the Recovery Community this Holiday Season

It is well-known that the holiday season can be stressful for the most stress-free person. For individuals that regularly deal with high stress and anxiety, the holiday season can bring about even more panic and stress. And for individuals in early recovery, after having overcome addiction and who are working each day to maintain and strengthen their recovery, the holiday season can be one of the most stressful times they have faced since putting down drugs and alcohol.


Here at MARC, we understand how difficult early recovery can be for our patients. Whether they are a few weeks or a few months removed from active addiction, we understand that while in treatment and working through many difficult issues, early recovery offers many opportunities for concern, stress, or relapse. However, we also know that because of these very issues, it is vital for patients in early recovery to not only fully engage in the clinical treatment and support they are receiving here while in rehab, but to also get connected to the local recovery community and receive important support and direction from those who are living in recovery.


Therefore, the suggestions and tips given to our patients here at MARC throughout the entire year can be equally important, if not more important, to anyone in early recovery during the heightened stressful times of Christmas and the new year. So we thought it would be beneficial to give a glimpse of some of important suggestions and opportunities that are available for anyone in early recovery from addiction as they related to connecting (or reconnecting) with a local recovery community during this upcoming holiday season.


Tips for Handling the Holidays During Early Recovery

Connect with the Recovery Community

First, for anyone in early recovery, connecting with a local recovery community is vital any time of year. Whether it is a 12-Step community like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), SMART Recovery, Refuge Recovery, Celebrate Recovery, or a different type of recovery community, the connections and relationships that are formed with others within that community is vital to finding and sustaining recovery. It allows for identification, trust, and support. It connects those that have felt disconnecting to something bigger than themselves- whether that is the group, the community, a Higher Power, or simply purpose, meaning, and direction in recovery.


Find a Mentor or Small Mentor Group

Second, connecting to a good group of people within the recovery community gives a person in early sobriety the opportunity to find much needed guidance during the holidays. Remember, those people in the recovery community have gone through the stress, the trials and tribulations, and the difficulties of the holiday season, dealt with or managed the stressful situations, and come out the other side clean and sober. Those people will be excited and grateful to be able to share their experience, and the things that they did that were helpful in them dealing with the holiday stress, to anyone that might be new in recovery.


Find a Safe Space

Third, the holidays can be difficult dealing with family. They can certainly be stressful, but they also may create an unhealthy or dangerous environment, where alcohol and drugs may be consumed openly and freely or create an opportunity to further unhealthy family boundaries or issues. Therefore, during the holidays, someone in early recovery may be in need of a safe space and community. Recovery communities often create additional supportive environments or events during this time. There are, of course, always meetings, but there are also often additional recovery events that take place. Things like all day marathon meetings and holiday parties and events. Also, many families in recovery will open their homes to those in recovery in need of a safe and supportive environment.


Recovery communities offer hope, healing, and support throughout the year, and understanding that these things may be in bigger need during the holiday season, offer those things even more during Christmas and the turn of the new year. Individuals in early recovery should consistently look to engage with their local recovery community during this time of year, for any additional help or support they need. Finding those that have been where you have been and learned to get through it and come out on the other side is paramount in helping yourself get through what can be trying and stressful times. The recovery community is there for one reason- to be a group of people in recovery, supporting each other, and especially helping those that are new to recovery. As the holiday season approaches, they will be overjoyed to be able to over that which was given to them when they were newly sober during the holidays- a safe, supportive environment to help you maintain your sobriety so that you may continue a recovery journey of healing, health, and happiness.


If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorder issues, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at [email protected]. For more information on all of our drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorder services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at

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About the Author

Zach Snitzer

Zach Snitzer is the Corporate Director of Marketing at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center and is responsible for the business development, marketing, branding, public relations and social media strategies of the organization.