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How the Holidays Worsen Addiction

How the Holidays Worsen Addiction

Crowded mall parking lots, longer hours of darkness, year-end stresses at work, and more. The holiday season is full of stress.

While this season is one that’s typically full of merriment, the holidays can be incredibly stressful for those dealing with addiction and alcoholism. In fact, the holiday season can worsen addiction by creating added stresses that turn into a breaking point when someone does not have the proper coping mechanisms for their stress. This can cause someone to turn to drugs or alcohol as they attempt to cope with their holiday stresses. We offer addiction treatment in Massachusetts to help men and women find their sobriety. There’s a strong connection between addiction and the holiday season, but sobriety is possible.

Common Holiday Stresses

One of the biggest factors perpetuating addiction in a person’s life is stress. There are many factors that worsen the stress many people feel during the holidays. Common sources of holiday stress [1] include:

  • Facing difficult family relationships
  • The pressures of gift-giving
  • Financial stress
  • Unrealistic expectations


These are just a few of the stresses associated with the holiday season. As with any other stress, improper coping mechanisms result in worsening of addiction or alcoholism. If you are struggling with addiction, the stresses of the holiday season will only worsen these problems. With addiction treatment in Massachusetts, you can learn healthy coping mechanisms to beat holiday stress, and other stresses throughout the year.

Physical Tolls of Holiday Stress & Drinking

While numerous studies have linked drinking to cardiovascular issues, the stresses of the holidays can worsen the situation. Dubbed “Holiday Heart Syndrome” by Phillip Ettinger in 1978, this condition describes the connection between holiday binge drinking and cardiac rhythm disturbance [2]. Many holidays revolve around binge drinking, and this binge drinking can result in heart issues that put a person’s health at risk.

Overcoming Holiday Stress & Addiction

While the stresses of the holidays are inevitable, you can improve how you respond to these stresses. Coping with drugs or alcohol is no way of coping. You can find your sobriety and learn healthy coping mechanisms with the help of our Boston drug and alcohol treatment center. We understand the connection between addiction and the holiday season, and we can help patients develop healthy, sober coping mechanisms.

Call our center for Boston drug and alcohol treatment at 888-280-4763 for a happy, healthy, and sober holiday season.


Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.