Few people will argue with the sentiment that the holiday season can bring unparalleled levels of stress. Meeting up with friends and family can be unexpectedly difficult, and planning a party can be frustrating for the one coordinating it all. It comes as no surprise, then, that many Americans turn to drugs and alcohol to seek some stress relief.
However, the behavior can quickly spiral out of control. Rehabilitation centers from coast-to-coast generally see a spike in residency enrollment in the winter, right at the height of the holiday season. People looking for a temporary solution might take one extra dose of their prescriptions, or pour an extra glass at the end of the night, but soon have become entirely dependent on it. The problem is magnified tenfold when both alcohol and drugs are used at once.
Mitigating Holiday Stress in Other Ways
When someone turns to drug or alcohol for stress relief, it is often because they do not know any other way to unwind or calm down. No one intends on becoming addicted, and you would be hard-pressed to find someone would claim drug use was their first choice. If you or someone you know is struggling with dependency on drugs or alcohol due to the holiday season ramping up pressure, know that there are effective alternatives.
Here’s a quick list of popular ways to relieve holiday stress:
- Diet: Stress manifests as depression, anger, and anxiety when it goes unchecked and when dopamine levels in your brain run low. Although the scientific jury is out, many people firmly believe in the healing power of a healthy diet and certain foods. Turkey, oatmeal, and almonds are commonly on lists of foods believed to raise dopamine levels and balance out blood sugar. Try adding some to your diet.
- Exercise: When you engage in physical activities, your body releases endorphins that have been shown to stabilize and typically elevate your mood. You don’t need to get into anything too strenuous either, like weightlifting or sports. Routine yoga and stretches can be just as effective.
- Meditation: Calming your emotions begins with calming your mind. Try new mediation practices that you’ve never done before and see if they help. One simple solution is listening to ambient noises or relaxation videos – known as ASMR – when things get stressful or just before bed. Want something more personal? Consider adopting a cat or dog for constant companionship when you’re at home.
Drug Dependency & Drug Crimes
In addition to the health problems that can arise from drug and alcohol dependency, there is also the increased risk of troubles with the law. People that become addicted to drugs over the holidays are more likely to be charged for a drug crime at some point in the next year than those who relieved stress in other ways. If you do find yourself accused of or charged with a drug crime, the Law Offices of Scott Edgett can help defend your rights and uphold your reputation. Call 972.635.4224 to schedule a free case evaluation with the firm’s Plano criminal defense lawyer.