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Dealing with sobriety and seasonal depression during the holidays

The holidays can steer sober people in the wrong direction.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — November to early January is sometimes the best time in people’s lives. But for some dealing with substance abuse and sobriety, they dread this time of year and need help.

The Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council for the Concho Valley deals with people struggling with sobriety and promotes wellness in the community, especially during these difficult times.

“A lot of the reasons people relapse are because of financial stress, trying to get off using vacation or trying to find the time to have off with their family. Also grief, loss trauma, or if they don't have a good relationship with family and that kind of dysfunction, that can also play a role,” ADACCV prevention specialist Jennifer Flores explained. 

The National Institutes of Health reports 14 percent of the U.S. adult population suffers from a form of seasonal mood changes, known as winter blues.

There are many strategies to use when you or someone you know is dealing with seasonal mood changes or depression. 

Flores provided some of the following:

  • Spend time with people who aren’t using drugs or alcohol which might pressure you to relapse;
  • Go outside at the take in the fresh air and Vitamin D;
  • Spend time with those who you love and you know will support you.

"It's a crucial time so we also encourage them to reach out to us at our office. If we're closed, we do have a 24 hour crisis hotline. We really just want them to know the services that are available and to attend those meetings and use that sober support system that they have in their life," Flores said. 

She also mentioned whether you or someone you know relapses, nobody is perfect and the ADACCV has countless resources available to help anyone through their recovery.

Here are some available resources:

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