The holidays can be a difficult time for those in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.
The average American consumes double the amount of alcoholic drinks over the holidays than any other time of year, according to a study by one poll.
And no one knows just how difficult navigating the holidays can be for those in recovery than Elliott Hughes— who has walked his own journey of sobriety and has now dedicated his life to helping others do the same.
Elliott began using drugs and alcohol when he was 14. “Throughout the years, that brought overdoses and jail sentences,” said Elliott.
But in March of 2020, he decided to take his first step in sobriety.
His family and wife, Hannah, rallying behind him.
“No one is too far gone, no matter how far gone they are,” Hannah said.
The couple and their family opened ‘Way Maker’— a faith-based sober living house for men.
“We didn’t have any in Hendricks County until we opened,” Hannah said.
It’s in the very home Elliott grew up in.
“I overdosed in this house,” Elliott said. “My mom gave me Narcan in this home.”
Elliot talks to the residents about the importance of staying sober, especially during the holidays.
“Holiday gatherings normally involve parties, those in recovery can’t party because one drink is too many,” Elliott said.
“You need to find those people who will build new traditions that don’t circle around alcohol or drug use,” said Stephanie Anderson, CEO of Recovery Centers of America Indianapolis.
Anderson says if you’re celebrating the holidays sober, make a plan ahead of time.
“The temptation is there,” Anderson said. “People want to be normal like the rest of their family members and drink.”
There are hotlines available 24/7 for those battling addiction, depression or just need someone to talk to.
The suicide hotline is 800-273-8255. It is available 24/7, 365 days a year.