Addiction experts raise awareness about seasonal affective disorder, host drug-free event to celebrate the holidays



BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) – For many, the holiday season is the most festive time of the year, but for those recovering from alcohol or substance abuse, this time of year can be source of mixed emotions.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 5% of the American population suffers from seasonal depression.

Symptoms include a feeling of sadness or depressed mood, loneliness, strained family relationships, the disappearance of a deceased family member, problems with money and finances, a feeling of worthlessness or guilt, loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed, and more.

Experts say millions of Americans with seasonal affective disorder turn to alcohol or other substances this time of year, especially during events and going out.

At the local level, the Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse (BVCASA) provides drug education, drug and smoking prevention, testing services and outpatient treatment for young people and adults. They say vacation times can be stressful for several reasons.

“During the holidays, you will see things like more alcohol use, increased alcohol and drug use,” said Latrease Marshall, prevention specialist at BVCASA.

“Sometimes when someone is recovering they go back to their drug of choice, and that’s mainly because of all the pressures of the vacation,” Marshall said. “Maybe he’s missing loved ones, or maybe he has social anxiety or has a lot of other people around or people that they don’t usually see as one all the time. extended family. A lot of people juggle these things and try to celebrate the holidays, so a lot of times it will lead to a lot of addiction. “

Marshall says the key to spending the holidays is knowing when to ask for help.

“Having someone you trust to talk to, reach out to someone you trust and be able to share these things with them, as that will help you get over all the anxiety and discomfort and everything you might be feeling over the holiday season, ”said Marshall.

The Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse will be hosting a free and fun family event for those who want to celebrate the holidays in a drug and alcohol free environment.

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