Those of you who follow this web site regularly know that each holiday season I talk about taking care of yourself, of being good to yourself, to be prepared if you have to deal with alcoholism/drugs in your home.

The holiday season is always an excuse for drinking and drugging. But then people who suffer from addiction will always find an excuse to satisfy their cravings. If you are in a home where the addictive habits really burst forth during the holidays there are several preparations you and your siblings can do. 

  1. Make a list of relatives and friends whom you feel comfortable visiting. Phone them and ask if in an emergency you could stay with them.  
  2. Always let your parents know where you are spending the night. Don’t just tell them but also write the name, address and phone number down and safety pin the paper on your bed. If your parents have email send it to them as well. 
  3. If you have no place to go have the phone numbers of your local Alcoholics Anonymous, Alateen and other addiction help centers available in case you need to talk to someone.  
  4. If all else fails be prepared to phone 911.  
  5. Depending on your relationships with your mother and father, the holidays are sometimes a good time to discuss what worries you about your parents’ habits. It is important to talk to your parents in a positive and non-insulting way. For example instead of saying, “I hate it when –“ you might say, “I really worry when you —, or “My feelings hurt when you —“.   

Lets try and be grateful for the good things we do have. It may also be a good time if you are affiliated with a church or synagogue to talk to your clergyman about your personal concerns. Make some plans of your own where you can let off some steam. Is there a pool near your home? Bowling Alley? A gym? You get the idea. Get some activities going.  May you find the strength within you to make your wishes come true.  You are stronger, sharper and wiser than you realize. Believe in yourself.