For many, the holidays are a time of joy, love, and family. But, for others, it is the season of depression, temptation, and loneliness. For these people there is the ever-present danger of falling into a substance abuse problem. One such substance of abuse is hallucinogens. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, over 900,000 people begin using hallucinogens every year. This makes it even more important to know how to avoid hallucinogens during the holiday season.
The pressure of the holiday season causes many people to turn to hallucinogens, and young people are certainly no exception. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are a number of techniques that can be used to avoid taking drugs, including hallucinogens. These are:
- Saying “no”, sometimes forcefully or repeatedly in order to get the message across,
- Changing plans, whenever hallucinogens figure in, or to steer things away from hallucinogen use,
- Making excuses, like health problems, extra-curricular activities, or homework,
- Leaving, since avoiding situations and places with hallucinogens works best, and
- Playing the parent card, because every teen understands the dangers that are angry parents.
All of these techniques can be utilized by teens to avoid hallucinogens during the holidays. Additionally, they are not bad techniques for adults to use.
While it is true that teens are one of the highest risk demographics for hallucinogen use during the holidays, they are not the only one. Another high risk group includes individuals that are in recovery from hallucinogen abuse. They have a knowledge of the desirable effects of hallucinogens, and often find it difficult to resist the temptation, even though they know and understand what the consequences may be. However, the journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, states that there are a number of different methods of preventing relapse. Some of these are:
- seeking treatment,
- relying on a trusted friend or sponsor for support,
- attending 12-step meetings, and
- avoiding places and situations where hallucinogens may be prevalent.
Practicing these methods of prevention can greatly lower the risk of relapse, and are especially helpful during the holidays.
Of course, not everyone that will face the temptation of hallucinogens this holiday season are teens or those in recovery. However, the methods used by these groups can be very effective if you modify them to fit your needs. The best thing to do is plan ahead, and make sure that you know what is going to be going on in the places you visit, and have a plan of action to help you avoid hallucinogens entirely. If, despite your best efforts, you should find yourself using hallucinogens this holiday season, remember that there are a number of resources available to help. There is no better time to get your life on track than the holidays. For more information on avoiding hallucinogens, feel free to call us at 800-592-1193 (Who Answers?) .
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