The holidays can be a particularly taxing time for people with addictions. You may be expected to participate in reunions with dysfunctional families, feel the pressure to spend money -- when your addiction is taking up most or all of your cash, or you are in debt -- and you may find yourself having to cover up or excuse your behavior to people who just don't understand. Alternatively, you may be feeling alone, at a time when it seems the whole world is surrounded by loving family and friends.
It may help to know that the holidays are stressful in some way for most people, despite outwards appearances. And although you may feel isolated and misunderstood, understanding and support is available through helplines and treatment services. Search this site for more information.
The holidays are a time when strained relationships can erupt into family violence. If this happens, don't delay in calling 911 for help.
Children and teens needing support can call Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline:
1-800-422-4453 (1-800-4-A-CHILD) or Kids Help Phone in Canada: 1-800-668-6868 or Childline in the UK: 0800 1111.