Holidays for those in Early Recovery

How to Navigate the Holidays in Early Recovery

By Erin Goodhart

December 8th, 2016

With the holiday season upon us, many of us look forward to get-togethers with friends and family, and work celebrations with colleagues. From the smell of holiday cookies baking to hearing carols in stores, we’re primed to be in a holiday mood. But the season can also bring stress. Attending or planning holiday events can be exhausting and we often have high expectations that don’t always align with reality. For someone in early recovery – and their family members – it can be an especially stressful time.

Here are tips for those in early recovery on how to navigate the holidays.

For those in early recovery:

• Isolation is not beneficial for someone in early recovery. Even if you’re not in the mood to attend a holiday party, surround yourself with people who are healthy and sober. Attend a meeting, call a sponsor, or find supportive friends and family.

• Plan ahead for get-togethers. The combination of alcohol and family dynamics can be challenging. Consider an exit strategy or a safety plan if alcohol is being served or if you feel anxious at these events.

• Don’t plan to stay for the entire time if it’s going to make you uncomfortable. It’s fine to bring a friend as sober support or to call someone from a support group if you need to talk.

• Don’t stress if someone offers you a drink. It’s perfectly OK to just say no, without explanation. You can also keep a glass of water in your hand at all times.

• Remember that putting your sobriety first is your priority. You don’t have to accept every invitation. Spend time with sober friends instead, or create a new tradition like volunteering at a soup kitchen.

For families with loved ones in early recovery:

• We encourage you to be supportive and proactive about your family member’s recovery. You can reach to them in a way that lets them know you trust them with their own recovery but that you are there for them if needed. You don’t want to be controlling. Make them feel included in plans and if you know they are struggling, suggest they attend a meeting or call a sponsor.

• If you’ll be seeing relatives who don’t know your family member has just completed treatment, prepare beforehand as to who will communicate the information in a way your family member is comfortable.

• Remember to also take care of yourself this time of year. You may want to attend your own meeting to stay connected with other families with similar experiences. It will help to be around people who understand what you’re going through.

It’s important for individuals and families in early recovery to keep open communication with each other so everyone can enjoy the holidays together. Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!

Erin Goodhart, Director of Women’s Services
Caron Treatment Centers


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Opioid Overdoses Almost Triple in Children and Teens

overdose-pictureNumber of Children and Teens Hospitalized for Opioid Overdoses Almost Tripled

November 2, 2016

A new study finds the number of young children and teens hospitalized for opioid painkiller overdoses has almost tripled in recent years.

Opioid overdoses increased 205 percent from 1997 to 2012 among children ages 1 to 4, HealthDay reports. Among teens ages 15 to 19, overdoses increased 176 percent.

Most poisonings due to opioid painkillers among children under 10 were accidental. Lead researcher Julie Gaither of the Yale School of Medicine says young children are “eating them like candy.” Most overdoses among teens were accidental, although some were suicide attempts, Dr. Gaither noted.

The study appears in JAMA Pediatrics.


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Community Mobilization Event @ North Branch


Hazelden Publishing will be hosting a community mobilization event in North Branch, MN. It is free and open to the public.

November 18, 2016 
Registration begins at 8:00
Event hours: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m
Lunch will be served
Trinity Lutheran Church
38460 Lincoln Trail
North Branch, MN 55056
Capacity is limited- Register in advance to reserve your seat.

Please click here to see attached invitation for full details
or click here for the registration link.

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Red Ribbon Week


Today, I’m honoring Kiki Camarena, a DEA agent who died while fighting substance abuse. Join me in celebrating Red Ribbon Week® 2016. Take the pledge:

The Red Ribbon Campaign® is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation, reaching millions of young people during Red Ribbon Week®, October 23rd – October 31st each year.

Download the Parent/School Planning Guide here.


It is an ideal way for people and communities to unite and take a visible stand against drugs. Show your personal commitment to a drug-free lifestyle through the symbol of the Red Ribbon, October 23 – 31st.


The Red Ribbon Campaign® was started when drug trackers in Mexico City murdered DEA agent Kiki Camarena in 1985. This began the continuing tradition of displaying Red Ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs. The mission of the Red Ribbon Campaign® is to present a united and visible commitment towards the creation of a DRUG – FREE AMERICA.


National Family Partnership is the sponsor of the National Red Ribbon Week® Celebration. We are helping citizens across the country come together to keep children, families and communities safe, healthy and drug-free, through parent training, networking and sponsoring the National Red Ribbon Campaign®.


A theme unites each year’s campaign and helps to broadcast one message, creating a tipping point to change behavior.


Plan a Red Ribbon celebration. Order and display Red Ribbon materials with the National Red Ribbon ttheme. Proceeds from the sale of Red Ribbon theme merchandise helps support prevention programs across America. Order for your family, students, sstaff, patients, employees and customers and encourage them to wear the red ribbon symbol during Red Ribbon Week®, October 23rd – 31st.

The Red Ribbon Campaign is sponsored by the National Family Partnership.
Learn more at: and


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Medicine cabinet safety

National Medicine Abuse Awareness – week 2

Medicine Cabinet Safety


Create a Medicine Action Plan. Be sure you’re using and storing medicines safely in your home. #PreventRxAbuse

Cleaning out your cabinet? Safely dispose of unused or expired prescription and non-prescription medications at the Drug Drop Box located in the Lobby at the Kanabec County Jail open 24/7/365. Click here for more info.

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National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month


Recently, Rx painkillers have resulted in more deaths than cocaine and heroin combined #PreventRxAbuse

Learn the facts and spread the word.

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