How to survive the holidays with a family member who is an addict

Karen Khaleghi, PhD, discusses the challenges of the holiday season for those in recovery
Family Tips | Surviving the holidays with a family member who is struggling with addiction
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How to survive the holidays with a family member who is an addict

The holiday period is an extremely difficult time for the best of us, people who aren't utilizing drugs or alcohol. Who aren't using and abusing. Because it's a period of high expectation and high anxiety, and that can be a very dangeroud combination. We go into the holidays with the expectation that everybody's going to get along, that it's going to be merry and bright, that it's going to be the Chanukkah you didn't have as a child, so we all go in with a great deal of expectation. Unfortunately, rarely if ever are those expectations met cause they're fantasy. They're build up, a conglamoration of wishes and dreams that won't be fulfilled. So we're leading into let down. If someone has used drugs or alcohol and they're going into that situation, they're vulnerable to develop a relapse. They're vulnerable to head to a relapse. There are things that they can do in order to help themselves through he holdays, and those are, they want to look at what their expectations are, and what their families' expectations for them are. And then set up parameters and talk through situations before you hit them. So, if you're going to a family party and there's going to be drinking present, you want to talk that through with the host. If that's your parents, or that's your spouse coming into that situation, you talk through what can happen and what the options are if you're going and you can talk it through before it happens.

Karen Khaleghi, PhD, discusses the challenges of the holiday season for those in recovery


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Karen Khaleghi, PhD

Co-founder of Creative Care Malibu

Dr. Karen Khaleghi is a pioneer in the field of dual diagnosis, or co-occurring drug and alcohol addiction along with mental health disorders. As one of the co-founders of Creative Care in Malibu and co-author of The Anatomy of Addiction, Dr. Karen speaks to parents and organizations about the formation of addiction, the critical aspects of nature and nurture and the resulting disconnection between emotions and behavior as well as the genesis of addiction and the path to recovery, a process she calls "connecting the dots." 

There are many things that set Dr. Karen Khaleghi apart from others including her individualized treatment approaches and excellent treatment facility Creative Care which is filled with clinical staff comprised of professionals that offer the highest standard of care in the industry. Karen graduated from California Graduate Institute with her Ph.D in 1989 and lives in Los Angeles, CA with her loving husband and children. Dr. Karen Khaleghi has been featured on The Today Show, KCAL 9, Dr. Phil and many others!


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