Dealing with Addiction and Family during the Holidays

The holidays can be a stressful time even for relatively healthy individuals. Addicts, who are typically dealing with some form of emotional problem, are extremely vulnerable during this season. Although an addicted loved one may have abused the trust of family and friends, it is important to remember that addiction is a symptom of profound unhappiness. No one wants to be an addict, and most people have reached a point of desperation in coping with life.

During the holidays, most addicts are gripped with shame and loneliness because they are even more aware than ever that their addictive behavior creates an emotional wall between them and the people they care about. With the holiday spirit of family and friendship, and the increased danger of depression and other negative outcomes, the holidays may be a great time to reach out to a loved one who is struggling with substance abuse.

The holidays can also put a strain on individuals who are recovering from addiction. Family gatherings can be emotionally stressful and can trigger unhealthy coping mechanisms. However, loved ones can provide essential support for those who are in recovery to help them avoid emotional pitfalls, deal with cravings, and find joy in the holiday season.

A little planning ahead can go a long way to help avoid relapses, hurtful situations, and tragic consequences. Here are some tips for holiday gatherings for those who are recovering, and for those who love someone in recovery:

• Take the focus off of alcoholic beverages. Downplay alcohol consumption and emphasize other activities like talking, music, games, or sports.

• Provide non-alcoholic alternatives, and avoid calling attention to the fact that someone isn’t drinking alcohol. You may not know the whole story.

• When cravings hit, try eating something sweet. Sugar can help satisfy the part of the brain that triggers cravings for alcohol and opiates.

• If you are in recovery, consider taking a friend who has achieved long-term sobriety with you to gatherings. This person will understand your situation be able to provide effective support during tough moments.

• If you are feeling stress or overwhelmed, take some time out. Go for a walk with a friend, take a quick nap. Being tired can deplete your willpower and ability to cope with stressful situations.


Family Coaching

What is Family Coaching? Family coaching provides support to the family members of an individual who has a substance abuse disorder and or mental health issue. Families can learn to ways to cope mentally and emotionally and make the necessary changes to find the way out, of what can be, a self – defeating situation. A family coach will teach and facilitate learning practical skills plus give emotional support via phone. The family coach can be available multiple times; a day, weekly, or on an as-needed basis, as opposed to the traditional therapy model of having to meet in person once or twice a week. Family coaching can be self-directed by the family with supportive and comprehensive coaching. This is a service that is not intimidating and is ultimately respectful of all the family’s needs. Some of the challenges for families include; Substance Abuse, Anger Outbursts, Depression, Mental Health Disorders, Eating Disorders, and Self-defeating Behaviors. These are a few of the problems that families struggle with when they reach a point where they CANNOT do it anymore and Can Am Intervention Services is here to help.


“The number of individuals suffering from addiction and related mental health issues has continued to rise and the effects of Chemical Dependency have not only affected the individuals that are addicted it has a large effect on their families.”

Mission and Vision Statement

Can Am Addiction Intervention Services will provide addiction intervention / treatment services and consultation to individuals and their families to clear the path to recovery and facilitate freedom from the devastating and deadly disease of addiction. Across the border and across addictions we will provide a caring yet effective and individualized approach to intervention / treatment and on-going recovery services resulting in a new way of life.