Valentine’s Day Sobriety is Not Impossible – by Marie Garceau
Valentine’s Day is known for chocolates, cards, confessions of love, and heartbreak. Some individuals feel there is an expectation in society that you should have someone special on this day. If you don’t, you’re considered lonely.
Post-holiday season, Valentine’s Day can be the first major hurdle for someone in recovery from addiction. Certain emotions can be attached to the day, such as guilt, sadness, depression, anxiety, or anger.
Fortunately, there are practical ways to stay sober and avoid relapse.
However, if you know someone struggling with addiction, it is critical to reach out for help or intervene. Early intervention saves lives and prevents overdose, for example:
The townships of Topsfield and Georgetown recorded no opioid overdose deaths in 2021. Yet, Newburyport, Salisbury, Amesbury, Rowley, and Ipswich had a combined 23 opioid overdoses in 2021.
Early intervention prevents drug users from using drugs alone and helps avoid triggers that lead to drug use.
“There can be any number of potential stressors or triggers that could lead to relapse,” said Michael Leach of Addicted.org. “It is a good idea to begin to identify these and have a plan.”
The best thing anyone can do is recognize any potential trigger or stressor. Suppose you begin to feel upset on Valentine’s Day and believe it is because you are hyper-focused on your love life.
Consider other stressors, such as work responsibilities, family, health issues, or financial obligations. Recognize the other things that influence your stress and anxiety and work towards mitigating those problems.
Finally, acknowledge and appreciate the connections you do have. This could be close friends, family, or a recovery support group. Valentine’s can be a day to simply appreciate those who are currently in your life.
Marie Garceau has been working in the field of substance use and addiction recovery for over a decade. Her primary focus is to reach out to the community and spread awareness. She does this to educate others about the dangers of drug use and to help prevent individuals from using drugs.