Maintaining a solid recovery from addiction over Christmas

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Maintaining a sound recovery from addiction, particularly in the early days, can be challenging and at Christmas this can be even more so. With increased triggers, pressure and the ghosts of Christmas past all potentially adding to the mix, these tips for solid recovery are a present worth unwrapping.

Here at we asked people in recovery and people who work in recovery their tips for staying on track during this time of year. It is interesting to note that the answers offer many different perspectives, again we feel reinforcing the need to do recovery in a way that works for the individual but by tapping into the wisdom of others.

Here are a few reflections and tips that have been shared with us, along with some resources that people may find helpful. Where requested and in line with their wishes some quotes have been anonymised.

Addiction Recovery

  • “I do what I do every day. Wake up and do my prayer and meditation and ask God to divorce me from self-seeking and dishonest motives. I speak with another alcoholic daily and share my stuff with honesty and look to see if there’s anyone anywhere that I can help with the solution I’ve found through our recovery portion of our basic text”

Anon, member of an online social media page.

  • “It’s important to remember that to maintain recovery from addiction needs to be your priority; this can be difficult, especially with all the demands and pressures on you at this time of year. Seek support, do what works and remember every day why you chose recovery. I have written a Recovery At Christmas Guide with a number of tips that people find helpful”

Andrew Harvey, Addictions Counsellor

  • “A person in recovery must be mindful of their reasons for abstaining every day, including Christmas. I won’t be attending parties etc. as I’m not a party person, but for anyone being around alcohol during Christmas festivities, I would suggest that they watch the drinkers as they get ‘tanked-up’ and think to themselves how sad it is to see people losing control of their faculties and getting more and more stupid and loud. At the end of the evening, the sober person will be getting home safely and waking with a clear head. You can’t put a price on that”

Anon, member of an online social media page.

  • “Always have a get out plan for every occasion, put your recovery above everything and don’t leave anything to chance as others outside of recovery wont/don’t understand. It’s just another day and the end of the day so don’t pile the pressure on yourself”

Anon, member of an online social media page.

  • “Christmas is a stressful time, but we don’t have to succumb to the pressures created by others. Choosing how we manage our thoughts, feelings and behaviours will help. Avoid triggers (HALT/BADS), deal with the urges (DISARM/DEADS) and importantly, have a plan that you stick to.” For more information visit our website at where you can find details of all our meetings and resources “.

Dave Hasney, National Co-ordinator (England), UK SMART Recovery

  • “Let family/friends know your situation. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling and fight the temptation. It’s just another day”

Anon, member of an online social media page.


  • 12 Step fellowship and some other support groups have a meeting every day of the year, including Christmas. Narcotics Anonymous is one such fellowship. “Narcotics Anonymous is a non-profit, international, community-based organization for recovering addicts, which is active in over 139 countries. Narcotics Anonymous (NA) members learn from one another how to live drug-free and recover from the effects of addiction in their lives.”

Nick Elson, Project Coordinator, NA World Services


Wishing you a solid recovery at Christmas and beyond.


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