Holiday Stress Leads to Increased Substance Use, Abuse

Holiday Stress Leads to Increased Substance Use, Abuse
November 13, 2012 Lighthouse Network

Christian Referrals, Therapy from Lighthouse Network Can Bring Lasting Hope and Healing to the Addicted

Key Facts:
• Recent studies show that drug and alcohol abuse rise more than 25 percent during the winter holiday season, from Halloween through New Year’s.
• Unmet expectations coupled with seasonal changes can affect mood and behavior and exacerbate addictions and other challenges.
• Lighthouse Network offers hope and lasting healing to addicts and their loved ones through Christian-based resources, treatment referrals, and therapy.

PHILADELPHIA – As the holiday season gets under way, days are shorter and stress increases, leading many to find themselves stuck in the “holiday blues.” But for those who struggle with addiction, blues become dark clouds of gray that intensify the need to drink or use substances.

Research shows that as many as 40 percent of traffic-related deaths at holiday time are attributed to substance use, and addiction relapse is more common during holiday times as well. Less daylight can lead to disorders such as Seasonal Affective Disorder, which can cause its own problems but also lead to an increase in substance use to mask feelings of sadness or depression.

Lighthouse Network, the country’s premier, Christian addiction and mental health referral services provider, offers numerous resources to help addicts and their loved ones receive the gift of hope, healing, and new beginnings during this holiday season. According to Lighthouse Network Founder and Executive Director, Karl Benzio, M. D., the key is remembering the reason for the season.

“The holiday season can be exponentially more difficult for those struggling with addiction, as it includes shorter days, more darkness, more expectations, family stress and triggered emotions,” said Dr. Karl Benzio. “We strive to keep Christ in constant focus as we work to help those hurting, at the holidays and always. If we remember that it is God who created us and loves us eternally in spite of our faults, addicts can begin to shed the huge holiday expectations that often lead to stress, depression, and either intensification or relapses in addictive behaviors and get the help they need to lead the life God created them to live.”

Lighthouse Network offers a variety of resources to help the hurting and addicted, as well as those who love them. The organization’s free, 24-hour Lighthouse Network Addiction and Counseling Helpline at (844) 543-3242 offers personal guidance to resources, therapy, or treatment facilities that best meet the needs of each unique caller based on their individual situations. Care Guides will link patients or loved ones to a counseling, addiction, or psychiatric care facility through Lighthouse Network’s national database of treatment centers, counselors, and therapists. They successfully manage complicated cases, especially of acute addiction, and provide help from a holistic (spirit, mind, and body) perspective.

In addition to its uniquely personalized helpline, Lighthouse Network also provides a variety of web-based resources. Stepping Stones is a free, daily devotional for managing life’s stressors and storms and equipping readers with healthy decision-making skills, and Not Alone radio short features help parents or grandparents of addicts cope with their situation and help their loved one. Visit to read the devotionals and sign up to receive them daily via email. To listen to the radio short features, visit For more information on Lighthouse Network, visit or call the Lighthouse Network Addiction and Counseling Helpline toll-free at (844) 543-3242.

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