The New Year
Last week’s message was full of joy and laughter. This week, let me be a little more serious. The holiday season will officially wind down this weekend with one last hurrah on New Year’s Eve. At my house, we typically spend the night trying to stay awake until midnight, but we all know that many people celebrate all evening and end the year with a champagne toast. Unfortunately, sometimes that champagne tops off an evening or even day full of alcohol consumption. Serious side effects can occur with excessive drinking. Alcohol poisoning is a serious problem, but other dangers include poor decision-making, which can lead to drunk driving, blacking out and other health problems. New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous holidays of the year. Since consuming alcohol is part of the celebration for many people and it can lead to drunk driving and other related accidents, deaths spike during the transition to the new year.
For those with active substance use disorder, this holiday can be even more dangerous. Mixing alcohol with other drugs can be particularly harmful. For those who are recovering from substance use disorder, the triggers of the holiday and others consuming alcohol can lead to a relapse. In our Highland Health Center, we’ve actually seen a downturn in patients seeking help during the holidays—a time when even more help is needed. Narconon lists some tips on their website for a drug and alcohol free New Year. Some of these include having an emergency plan, attending non-alcohol or non-drug events, celebrating with sober friends, and setting up a reward for staying sober. More tips can be found at http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-addiction/10-tips-for-a-drug-and-alcohol-free-new-year/
Sometimes however, more than a few “tips” are needed to help at this time of the year. We encourage anyone who needs help for substance use to seek out care. Find a 12-step meeting in your area. Call the 1-844-HELP4WV hotline for help in getting professional care. Call our admissions department at 304-926-1611 for an evaluation of the level of help that we can provide for you. We have beds available today in our Highland Health Center detox facility—and we’ll help you after you complete your seven-day detox program to get the continued care you need to be healthy, clean and sober.
So, here’s to the New Year. We hope that you will be safe and that if you need care for alcohol or substance use, you’ll seek it out and allow 2018 to be the beginning of your journey to a healthy, happy life. You deserve it. We’re here to help.