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How Seasonal Changes Can Trigger Your Addiction

Watch Out for These Potentially Harmful Effects of the Changing Seasons

We all know that the colder months can get people down and the hotter months often wear people out. But did you know the transitioning of the seasons can trigger addictive behaviors if you’re not careful?

Here are some of the most prominent seasonal triggers that can harm your recovery:

Winter Risks Come from Cold Weather and Confinement

Harsh winter weather can generate circumstances ripe for substance abuse. Be careful not to let the following scenarios steer you down the wrong path.

Stressful Travels

It’s no secret that traveling during winter storms is stressful. Any increase in stress heightens the risk of a relapse, but this scenario is extra dangerous because it often involves driving a vehicle.

Feeling Isolated

When you’re stuck inside all winter, it often leads to feelings of depression and social isolation. Former addicts will likely be tempted to turn to drugs or alcohol to dull these feelings.

Cabin Fever

Confinement indoors frequently leads to boredom. Recovering addicts with too much time on their hands sometimes relapse just to have something to do.

Infographic featuring seasonal addiction triggers

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Springtime Threats Include Rainy Days and Peer Pressure

Even as the cold weather begins to melt away, springtime has its own set of pressures for people in recovery. Watch out for these common trends:

Excessive Downpours

Increased rainfall can sour a person’s mood prompting them to drink or use. So, recovering people should be extra vigilant on rainy days.

Seasonal Allergies

Allergies are also a considerable source of irritation for many during the spring. Severe allergy symptoms can cause depressive behavior and lead to substance abuse.

Party Atmosphere

Whether in school or not, the spring break party atmosphere can create social pressure to drink or use drugs. The good news is, there are plenty of substance-free alternatives for spring fun.

Summer Discomfort Can Lead to a Relapse

While we frequently associate the summer with vacationing and fun, it can also leave recovering people vulnerable to harmful behaviors. Here’s how:

Heat Exhaustion

The heat and humidity are significant sources of stress and exhaustion. They can weaken recovering addicts’ defenses and make them more vulnerable to giving in to temptation.

Disrupted Routines

Summer vacations and breaks can also disrupt regular daily routines and increase anxiety. People in recovery should avoid turning to substances to handle these changes.

Body Discomfort

Many people feel uncomfortable with their body during the summer. Addicts may turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with the embarrassment.

Fall is Frequently Full of Impending Pressures

The leaves aren’t the only things that change in autumn. Here’s how the imminent arrival of shorter days and busier schedules can be dangerous for recovering addicts:

Shortening Days

The shortening days can often lead to Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD). As this seasonal depression sets in, substance abuse becomes more likely.

New Responsibilities

People often start new jobs or return to school in the summer. These new obligations can make people nervous and lead them to substance abuse to calm their nerves.

Holiday Nerves

As the holiday season approaches, it comes with many challenges of its own. Traditions, parties, and busyness can all contribute to relapses during the holidays.

Are seasonal changes triggering your addiction? Don’t try to battle them alone! The Other Side is a safe space for people in recovery to come together and support one another. We’d love to see you here!

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