Wyoming Recovery Provides Tips To Help Family Recover While On Vacation


CASPER, Wyoming (Wyoming News Now) – Holiday festivities for adults tend to be alcohol-centric, for people trying to stay sober, spending a family vacation can be tough.

“There are a lot of family traditions that surround this vacation that includes alcohol, so maybe creating new traditions as simple as alcohol-free parties or outings that are just family,” said Kristi Hann, Director Wyoming Recovery Clinic.

Wyoming Recovery offered tips for celebrating Christmas to recovering people and their families.

Communication is the most important aspect of supporting a sober family member, Hann says. Over time, the recovering person’s needs will change, so it is important to continually talk about how to help them recover. One point to consider at family gatherings is what the recovering person is comfortable doing or being around during the celebrations. As they recover, their level of comfort and ability to deal with substances may change.

“What do they need to feel supported during this stressful time? Open the dialogue, the line of communication and listen to them, find out what they need to feel supported, ”said Hann.

Hann says that creating new holiday traditions or having fun without alcohol is a good way to promote recovery. Driving around town to see Christmas lights and decorations, going to the movies, or ice skating can be simple but fun activities without alcohol.

“If you really think about it, any activity you do can be just as fun without alcohol … There are Christmas activities all over this town that won’t involve alcohol,” Hann said.

While going to an event or party where alcohol is involved is inevitable, planning ahead is essential.

“Have a safety plan, have an exit plan. Talk to your spouse, your loved one before going to this party before going to this event in order to have an exit plan if he starts having difficulties. Don’t go blindly without a plan because they could really start to struggle and you won’t know it, ”Hann said.

When it comes to creating a plan, making sure your loved ones don’t feel like an embarrassment or a burden can help open up the lines of communication more. Advocating for a recovering family member can be one of the best ways to support them and stay sober.

Hann also encourages family members to join loved ones in AA or NA meetings during the vacation period. There are daily meetings around Casper as well as online meetings that take place any time of the day, so support through groups is always available.

Hann says communication, advocacy, accountability, support, and patience are keys to keeping loved ones on the road to recovery during the holidays, but also all year round.

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