Two turkeys

Giving thanks, staying thankful, and being grateful. We often hear such phrases this time of year. On Thursday, November 22nd, the United States celebrated the holiday of Thanksgiving.

This holiday acknowledges that the Pilgrims, people who settled in what is now the U.S. region of New England in the 1620s, initially faced some tough times but survived them. There’s some debate whether the Pilgrims themselves celebrated a holiday to give thanks, although they may have participated in celebrations to mark the autumn harvest.

Sounds like addiction and recovery, doesn’t it? People struggling with addiction definitely experience their share of difficult times. Recovery can also be difficult, but it’s certainly a reason to celebrate.

Assistance helped the Pilgrims survive. This assistance came from people from the Wampanoag nation, including Tisquantum, a Native American popularly known as Squanto.

Assistance is also crucial in fighting addiction. Inpatient rehab centers and outpatient addiction recovery programs help many people examine why they abuse alcohol and drugs and give them tools to battle this abuse.

Medical and therapeutic professionals are not the only people who can help. Other people can help fight addiction, including:

  • Friends. Spending time with sober friends can help people pursue activities that don’t relate to alcohol or drugs.
  • Family members. Attending to family responsibilities may prevent people from substance abuse.
  • Support groups. Joining support groups allows people to meet people who are in similar situations, people who can share what has worked and what hasn’t worked for their recoveries.
  • Spiritual communities. Participating in religious communities may comfort people who previously turned to drugs or alcohol as sources of comfort.
  • Coworkers. Working with others can fill people’s time and distract them from using substances.
  • Classmates. Learning can engage people and improve their self-esteem, lowering the likelihood that they’ll use drugs or alcohol.

While people need to make their own decisions and take their actions relating to their recoveries, they often can’t succeed at these recoveries by themselves. People can help people and we’re all thankful for that.