Holiday Relapse Triggers You May Not Know

The holidays can be a difficult time for people in recovery. While it’s difficult to get clear statistical details about how prevalent relapse is during the holidays, the rate of admission to a substance abuse program nearly triples during this time. 

We recognized that holiday relapse triggers are prevalent and can be detrimental to those in recovery. But what exactly are they and how are they different from everyday potential triggers? Here are a few holiday relapse triggers you might not have considered. By recognizing the triggers for what they are, you can work to avoid them and minimize how they affect your sobriety. 


A celebratory atmosphere can be a trigger during the holiday season. The social association of alcohol with celebrations can make it difficult to navigate the holidays without feeling the urge to drink or use drugs. Likewise, our brains may still associate fun and good times with being drunk or high. Just remember, sober celebrations create memories that will last a lifetime. 

Holiday Blues

This time of the year often dredges up a lot of grief, sadness, and anger. You might be dealing with unresolved feelings and unaddressed trauma. All those emotions can contribute to exacerbating depression. It’s important to recognize these holiday trauma triggers for what they are and to mitigate the effects. 


You may have a lot of downtime during the holidays. Your normal routine will be disrupted and you will also have easy access to alcohol and other substances. You just don’t have the normal distractions. You can prevent some of the effect of boredom by finding ways to keep yourself active in safe, non-triggering ways. 

Family Stressors

Yep, family is a trigger during the holidays. It could be that you are reminded of past injustices involving your family. Or it could just be that you’re dealing with toxic or strained relationships with specific family members. Set boundaries during the holidays to avoid and limit the effects of those triggers. 


When you’re dealing with the holidays and recovery from addiction, it’s more difficult to plan ahead. You don’t know what to expect from every situation. Even if the uncertainty was not such a brutal reality, you may find that you have fewer treatment and support options during the holidays. 

It’s possible that your support group or therapist won’t be available during the holidays. So you may need to be prepared with more options and a more expansive support system to help you avoid and mitigate the effects of holiday triggers. 

Find Out How We Can Support Your Holiday Triggers Recovery

The holidays might leave you feeling more vulnerable than ever, particularly if you’re dealing with co-occurring mental health issues. Fortunately, we offer the services and support you need right now. Even if this is the most difficult time of the year, we help you learn how to control your response to holiday triggers. 

You’re never alone. Our experienced team is standing by to help you understand how holiday triggers may affect your recovery. Find out how we can help at Golden Peak Recovery. Contact us today to learn more about how we help you cope with the holidays and recovery from addiction. 

Call 844-528-4590 to get started on your journey to recovery.

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