SUBSTANCE ABUSE INDUSTRY NEWS #12
SOBRIETY, THANKSGIVING AND THE CORONAVIRUS
So what do you get when you combine a global pandemic with the holiday season? A triggering situation for individuals in recovery from substance use disorder. Dealing with the stress of the holidays before the pandemic is, for some, stressful in and of itself. The pressure to cook the perfect meal, create the “perfect” homey environment along with possible full-on family dysfunction and the stress involved in possibly traveling outside your personal comfort zone can create a situation in which an individual suffers a recurrence of their substance use disorder. Combine the standard holiday ingredients with widespread COVID-19, and a recipe for recurrence related disaster can occur. For these reasons, it is exceptionally important that individuals in recovery take as many precautions as necessary to do everything they can to keep their recovery intact. 2020 has already been a year that will remain in infamy.
For folks in recovery (and others), here are some suggestions for staying safe and sane during this Thanksgiving.
- If your family is insanely dysfunctional to begin with, and even without COVID, you are stressed every Thanksgiving, this is the year to stay home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has certainly recommended that staying home and staying in place is the safest thing for each of us to do. Nationally, COVID cases are on the rise, and health experts everywhere advise that people are best served by staying in place and not attending in-person functions.
- As most 12 steppers will agree, attending AA, NA, Al-Anon, or other 12 step meetings is a way to stay connected with your support team. One of the positive developments of this terrible pandemic is that people attending 12 step meetings have already created many virtual meetings that can be attended from anywhere.
- If you’re going to travel this week, speak to your family ahead of time about your recovery. If you have a family full of big drinkers, they may not be as receptive to your sobriety as you would hope. If you have family members constantly saying things like “I don’t understand why you just can’t have a couple,” or “I’m sure you can drink on the holidays and to stop again when you get home.” It might be better to avoid the situation altogether and stay home.
- Carefully pick and choose which events you plan on attending. A small outdoor Thanksgiving gathering is likely the safest option, not only from a COVID point of view but from a recovery point of view.
- Bring all your tools. Those in a 12-step program have an appreciation as to what that means. In essence, bring your phone number list with sober supports, find local online meetings as well as the means and method to connect to your home group meetings. Have an escape plan, take your own car, take a walk, call a friend.
Stay Safe, Wear a Mask, Socially Distance.
SAMSHA national helpline 800. 662.HELP (4357) TTY 800.487.4889
This helpline is confidential, free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities support groups and community-based organizations.
Alcoholics Anonymous General Services
This webpage can connect you to individual meetings and resources all over the country.
At Romano Law Group, Rainer Boggiano is focused on representing plaintiffs in catastrophic injury matters, including wrongful death, negligence, medical malpractice, and products liability litigation.
Rainer earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in Gainesville, Florida and his Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.
While attending law school, Rainer served as a judicial extern at Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal and a legal intern for ADT Security Services at its corporate headquarters in Boca Raton. He graduated with multiple Dean’s List honors and was a Pro Bono Award recipient in recognition for completing 150+ hours of community service. Currently, he is assisting with the Pro Bono work on behalf of the Florida Association of Recovery Residences.
Rainer is active in several community organizations, having served as a volunteer for the 15th Judicial Circuit’s Guardian ad Litem Program, a tutor at the Mandel Public Library’s homework center, and a mentor for several local non-profit organizations.
Susan Ramsey is both an attorney and an RN. Ms. Ramsey’s professional experience began as a Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Yale New Haven Hospital. While pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree, she was a counselor with the New Haven Rape Crisis Program. During her time with the Program, Ms. Ramsey counseled sexual assault survivors and performed seminars for local police departments, universities, and high schools. During her time working as a registered nurse, Ms. Ramsey decided to attend law school. Ms. Ramsey graduated from CUNY Law School, and has practiced law in several different State and Federal Courts. She is a Florida Heath Care Risk Manager and a member of the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force. Susan is Pro Bono Counsel for the Florida Association of Recovery Residences.
Ms. Ramsey actively litigates cases involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death on behalf of survivors, cases include injuries suffered by victims of professional product liability and medical negligence.