Holiday challenges for those dealing with addiction, depression

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The holidays should be a time to let loose with family and friends. But for those battling with substance abuse, it can be a trigger to bad habits.

A study by One Poll shows the average American drinks double the amount of alcohol over the holidays compared to any other time of the year.

 It can present a challenge, especially for those early in their sobriety.

Considering the amount of alcohol at holiday parties, those in early sobriety may feel uncomfortable in some social settings.

Addiction specialist Sarah O’Brien says there are things you can do to protect yourself or help a loved one who is newly sober.

“Have a support system readily available through the phone. Whether it’s a text message or a phone call. Someone to talk to when things get stressful,” she advises.

O’Brien also says to have an exit plan in case things become overwhelming. She suggests holding a non-alcoholic beverage, most of the time people aren’t going to ask what you want to sip on or be tempted to hand you a cocktail. And don’t feel obligated to attend an event.

“If you feel as though you can’t attend these parties, that’s OK. Going to a recovery-based meeting or a sober event is just as important if not a lot safer,” she said.

Family and friends can also help, by hosting an entirely sober event or assisting in diverting the conversation to something else if need be.

Plus, watching for clues someone might be struggling with their sobriety.

A change in behavior from a happy-go-lucky on-time individual to someone who’s maybe not showing up for events or is late. Disheveled appearance. Lashing out a little more, more irritable, discontent.”

Remember, your mental health and safety in sobriety is most important. If you’re struggling with addiction or mental health at any time, we have resources available below.


  • Crisis Support Services of Nevada provides support for people with drug and alcohol addiction as well as providing support to family members. You can call 1(800) 450-9530 or text “I’m ready” to 839863. Help is available 24/7 and is free.
  • Crisis Support Services of Nevada also provides support to those suffering with mental health issues. You can click on this link for more info and now to connect with a crisis line. You can call 1(800) 273-8255 or text “care” to 839863.

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