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Expert says planning ahead is key to staying sober, mentally well during holidays

Posted at 10:38 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 23:38:14-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Even in the best years, holiday gatherings can bring on some stress and be difficult for those recovering from an addiction.

Tiffany Gormley, clinical director at Northpoint Nebraska, says it's important to make your mental health a priority before going to events.

“If you feel like you’re uncomfortable in a situation, feel comfortable enough to respect our own mental health, to back away if you need to," Gormley said. "It’s really, really important for us to not feel the obligations of the holiday season.”

Alcohol sales jump dramatically during the holiday season. Gormley says it’s important to be proactive in sobriety.

“Look at these events, see if they’re things you really feel comfortable going to," Gormley said. "If you don’t feel comfortable going to them, then find alternative things for you to do. There’s always recovery meetings available 24 hours a day/ seven days a week, and so you can always attend one of those events.”

If you do attend an event where there may be alcohol or drugs, make a game plan.

“Bring your own beverages with you and plan ahead," Gormley said. "Take somebody with you, that you know is sober and can support your sobriety. Come up with an exit plan.”

For those on the other side, who are watching a loved one struggle with addiction, Gormley says to simply offer support.

"Reaching out and asking them, ‘How are you doing? How can I support you? What support do you need?’" Gormley said. "It's not necessarily telling them what they need to do, but asking them how you can support them through that process if they want to get help.”

Alcoholics Anonymous will be hosting meetings all day on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. You can find a meeting online or call them 24-hours a day at 402.556.1880.

Northpoint Nebraska is offering same-day admissions to their detox and rehabilitation center. You can reach them at (402) 267-9992.

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