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Holidays often harder for those recovering from addiction

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Holiday Recovery

WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- For many, this time of year can be one of happiness.

For others, it can be more challenging.

"If you start to add in any addiction and/or mental health can also just add a lot of stress," said Laure Ann Blanchard, an addiction specialist at Marshfield Clinic.

Often with lots of opportunities for gatherings, those recovering from addictions might have a hard time, with increased opportunities for relapse.

"It's very important to think about the environment you're going to be in, the people, places, and things kind of thing," Blanchard said.

If the environment doesn't feel right for the given time, experts like Blanchard recommend saying something, considering people might be more accommodating than you think.

"It's okay to say, 'I'm sorry I can't make that,' or 'I'm sorry, my health just doesn't allow for that,'" she said.

If there's pressure, whether internal or external, to fulfill certain roles from previous years that don't apply to you anymore, speak up.

"Growing up and mama and grandma saying, 'finish your plate, eat everything.' It's okay to say no," Blanchard said.

There are several forms of technology that can be used if you need help staying on track.

For instance, there's an app called "Sober Tool," which connects people with positive affirmations and more tips to stay sober.

With the holidays being a time where many figuratively count their blessings, Blanchard recommends physically doing it.

"Make a small gratitude list. It keeps us grounded as to what we are truly thankful for," she said.

There are 24-hour resources available for anyone in need of help.

Information for United Way of Marathon County's 211 program can be found here.

For more on the Sober Tool app, click here.

Narcotics Anonymous information can be found here.

Alcoholics Anonymous information can be found here.

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