For many people in recovery, this can be a particularly challenging time of year. Also, a time where it could be easy for one to relapse by putting their recovery on "Christmas Break." But, did our using and drinking ever take a break? Awareness and preventative planning can always help if relapse is close by.
During the holidays we are around certain family members we only see this time of year that may drink or drug too much or they flat out drive us crazy! Maybe in previous years we were able to deal with this better since we were drunk or high ourselves. Certain people and behaviors could be a lot less tolerable now that we are in recovery. But this is nothing to get worked up about, and nothing we cannot get through clean especially with our recovery friends and plenty of clean holiday events. So, plan your holiday the same way you previously planned to get high or drunk for the holiday.
We should know it is okay to not go to certain family events where we will feel unsafe and if we need to, LEAVE EARLY! If it is possible, bringing a recovery friend may also help. Create an escape plan of why you may need to leave early, that way you would not feel that you have to explain yourself in depth or that you are offending anyone. Keep your sponsor and networks phone numbers close and do not be afraid to USE them! Find out where there are Holiday Marathon meetings, speaker jams, dances or a holiday alcathon -where meetings run round the clock and there are plenty of support of others in recovery.
And lastly, it is important to remember that we should all have an attitude of gratitude during the holiday. Let's not forget why we got clean to begin with, and keep that gratitude. We are clean today with the ability to be at a holiday event we will actually remember!
In the first few holiday's we may need to avoid or get away from certain aspects of family members or events. However, after step work and because of the experience we gain on this journey, we may develop a large amount of tolerance and empathy for those that once drove us bonkers! That is where we can see the growth in ourselves and benefits of working a recovery program. We are not responsible for how others act, we are responsible for our recovery and how WE react in these situations.
Drunk packing has gained popularity recently, after a college student died after his friends practiced the trend. Drunk packing involves rolling a drunk person onto their stomach and placing something heavy, like a backpack, on their pack. The goal is that this will prevent them from rolling over onto their back and choking on their own vomit.
Who practices drunk packing?
You may be wondering if someone you care about could fall prey to this trend. This new practice is common on college campuses, especially among those who are afraid to call for help when a friend has alcohol poisoning. Because of this, many who use this method are underage. The intention with drunk packing is good, but misguided. You may think that someone can only choke on their vomit if they are on their back, so they are protected and can sleep safely. The Problems with Drunk Packing
You can choke in any position.
The weight of the backpack can do more harm than good.
Choking is not the only danger faced by someone with alcohol poisoning.
Because young people are the ones most effected by this trend, it is important that they are educated in the matter. Drunk packing is not safe. If you or a friend has practiced this, or you suspect that someone you love is drunk packing, there are a couple important facts of which you should be aware. First, most schools have amnesty policies. This means that you will not get in trouble for calling for help. If someone is drunk enough that you are worried for their safety, it is better to be safe than sorry and seek medical help. Second, drunk packing may become a punishable offense in itself, now that someone has died after being drunk packed. It is no longer a way to stay out of trouble, because the risks have been made public. So, what should you do about this new trend? If you believe that you or someone you care about is in danger from drunk packing and alcoholism, we at Genesis House are here to help. You can reach us 24 hours a day on our toll free number: 800-737-0933
Colleges and universities are notorious for being an incubator of substance abuse problems, especially when it comes to alcoholism. With roughly 80% of college students being current drinkers, and half of them binge drinkers, the amount of alcohol consumed is highly dangerous. While some people might shrug this off as a rite of passage or part of the "college experience," the problems associated with the heavy drinking on campus are numerous and extensive. For example, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), more than 1,800 students die each year from alcohol-related injuries, with another 600,000 receiving non-fatal injuries. There are also close to 700,00 assaults and nearly 100,000 sexual assaults. Clearly, the problem is much larger than many people want to admit, unless it's happening to their loved ones. As one university newspaper pointed out, there is also the issue of students moving past the point of alcohol abuse to chronic heavy drinkers and eventually into alcoholism. There are different forms of alcohol use disorders, and it is often difficult to detect when there is so much drinking going on to find the ones who really need the most help. Changing this behavior takes concerted efforts from multiple sources, not the least of which is the Colleges themselves. While most of them have rules for dorms, school-sponsored events and underage drinking, they're not doing much else about the problem. Having campus-wide awareness programs and support systems in place could be a huge step in avoiding bigger problems for most students. If you have a loved one who has developed a drinking problem and is in need of help, contact us today to find out more about our treatment program and how we can help.