As the end of the summer bears down on us, many people in the northeast start dreading the cold winter months ahead. If you’re a rehab in New Jersey, you begin to anticipate people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) to start walking through the doors. These people often turn to drugs and alcohol in the colder winter months because they think that there isn’t enough to do otherwise.

Every Rehab in New Jersey Sees an Increase in Addiction in Cooler Months

From alcoholics to heroin users, people seem to be more inclined to break into or return to their addiction as the fall turns into winter. A lot of it has to do with SAD, which is a real disorder that affects 4 to 6 percent of people acutely, and another 10 to 20 percent mildly. SAD is a form of seasonal depression. Anxiety and depression are key contributing factors to addiction, and need to be treated separately, but at the same time, to get the best chance in achieving sobriety.

Winter is a Time of Isolation. Addiction Is All About Isolation.

The summertime is all about socializing – parties, barbeques, beach, and fun. In the cold months, there is less socializing and people may start to feel lonely and isolated. As a result, a person who was drinking all summer socially might start drinking on their own at home alone. Before they know it, this could result in a major dependency on alcohol. It’s a similar slippery slope with drugs.

One of the biggest symptoms of drug or alcohol dependency is drinking or using alone at home. When people start to do so, they are filling a void. They are also choosing to stay home and drink or get high instead of socializing and taking part of activities they once enjoyed. These are very typical signs that addiction is headed in a bad direction.

Addiction and the Holiday Season

We still have a way to go until the holidays, but time flies and they will be here before we know Rehab NJ it. Thanksgiving and Christmas can be a really hard time for addicts, and with winter already in the mix, this is a time when addiction can completely get out of hand.

This is especially true for addicts who live alone. For them, it is important to make sure they are around positive and sober people to help to get them through this season. If you are feeling lonely, and don’t have a place to go, try something like volunteering during the holidays. Helping others is a great way to feel gratitude, accomplishment, and a sense of happiness.

Prepare for Winter

Knowing that the winter will potentially affect your addiction already puts you ahead of the game. You are aware of what might happen, and can choose to start taking steps now, while the sun is still shining, to make sure your addiction doesn’t win this winter.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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