How Substance Abuse Increases Loneliness During the Holidays

December 20, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Does substance abuse increase loneliness during the holidays? Loneliness alone can result in a person using drugs or alcohol, but what about the holidays? The holidays can worsen loneliness and cause people to turn to the only thing they know to cope with. But, there are alternative and healthy ways to cope with loneliness during the holidays. Continue reading to learn more.

Substance Abuse & Loneliness During Holidays

What is the link between loneliness and substance abuse during the holidays? Many things can contribute to a person’s loneliness during the holidays, which can cause them to use more substances.


Many substance-abuse users may begin stressing about not receiving gifts or accepting money, invitations to family events, etc. This can add even more stress. Many people may turn to drugs and alcohol because they see this as the only way to deal with all of the duress they are under.


The holidays can be a reminder of painful memories or even good memories. It is typical for a substance abuse user to grieve behaviors from the past. Others may not even have any loved ones to spend time with during the holidays. This loneliness and pain could result in depression, which can raise the chances of using drugs or alcohol.

Not Enough Support

Not having enough support is a very “real” thing. During the holidays, it can be all too tempting to indulge in drugs or alcohol, especially when being encouraged by loved ones to just have a “few sips.” This can easily lead to relapse for many users.

Feeling Isolated

Many substance-abuse users end up isolating themselves from their loved ones. Others may feel as if their loved ones will not even accept them if they can’t “behave.” This may lead to users isolating themselves during the holidays to avoid gatherings with friends and family.

Ways To Cope

Why does substance abuse increase loneliness during the holidays? Things such as isolation, stress, grief, and lack of support are all mentioned above. Let’s move on to ways that users can cope with these feelings during the holidays.

Fighting feelings of loneliness can feel like the person is fighting their addiction as well. There are many ways to cope.

Support Groups & Treatment

Seeking support groups and treatment will help users break addiction cycles. But, it is also important for users to help make certain changes to their lifestyle to improve their current situation.

It is okay to plan on spending time with loved ones during the holidays. Having a good support system can help break those feelings of loneliness, depression, and much more.

Use Distractions

Another way to cope with loneliness during the holidays is by distracting yourself with taking up new hobbies and passions. Maybe now is the time to sign up for that music class or art class you’ve always been interested in. Or, now is the perfect time to sign up for a gym membership or yoga class. These are also perfect opportunities for individuals to meet new people and even develop new friendships.


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