Holidays a dangerous time for recovering addicts

Dec. 25, 2013 @ 09:29 AM



By KEITH UPCHURCH; 919-419-6612

DURHAM – Rodney Moore knows the holidays can be a hard time for recovering alcoholics.

“This is what we call relapse season,” Moore, senior manager at Just A Clean House, a nonprofit that provides housing for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts, said.

The organization has 10 recovery houses spread throughout the city, and provides “a strong living foundation, enabling the recovering community the best chance to remain clean and sober,” according to its website.

New Year’s Eve can be an especially hard time for a recovering alcoholic, Moore said.

“The holiday season is difficult for many people for different reasons, with feelings of loneliness and being without your family. They’re looking for something to ease that pain.”

Those living at Just A Clean House are required to attend two weekly meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

The group’s stated mission is to help connect people with others who are trying to stay “clean and sober one day at a time.”

What helps people most to recover from addiction?

“Give them a sense of direction,” Moore said. “Give them time to get their heads clear, and see what they want to do in life compared to what they’ve done. Once you get the cobwebs out, you get a better vision of what your life is supposed to be.”

His advice to alcoholics is not to drink during the holidays, but he knows that many others will be partying hard on New Year’s Eve, and he urges caution.

“The biggest mistake people make during the holidays is excessive drinking,” he said. “It affects their ability to think properly. Many people want to drink and drive, and that’s a no-no. You shouldn’t do it.”

For those who plan to drink, he said, “make sure you’re in a safe environment, don’t drive and limit your intake.”