Once again, the holiday season is upon us. The Addiction Medicine Update, Hope & Caution—for Happy Holidays, originally published in November 2012, receives thousands of views, telling us that it strikes a chord in readers. With that in mind, we are reprinting it this year.
As we approach the holiday season—the time of year from Thanksgiving through New Years when "joy" is the word but not necessarily the reality—it's worth reflecting on ways we can protect ourselves and those we care about from inconvenience and tragedy due to use of alcohol or other mood-changing substances. Start by believing that some measure of holiday joy and fulfillment, provided we are open to it, is available to us all.
Caution is needed. But the holidays evoke strong feelings, and strong feelings often override caution. Strong feelings could include the stress of keeping up with the seasonal parade of expectations and events such as...
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