The Dark Side of Thanksgiving

What comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving? A turkey-induced coma? Black Friday shopping? The Steelers vs. Colts football game? Prescription drug abuse? Okay, you probably didn’t think of that one.

Thanksgiving Day is one of the biggest days for Rx abuse and overdose. Why? For many, being around family that you have been apart from for a while can be overwhelming. The endless parade of questions (How are your grades? Are you dating anyone? What are your plans after graduation?) can leave you feeling stressed and downright annoyed. The cooking, cleaning and prepping for visiting relatives can results in your parents, and subsequently you, feeling quite tense. Being home for the holidays means easy access to your parents’ (or grandparents’, aunt’s, uncle’s, etc.) prescription medication. These reasons converge to make Thanksgiving Day the perfect storm for Rx abuse.

For many of you, the holiday culture may bring with it an emphasis on feelings of celebration, togetherness, love, happiness and joy. But sometimes you just aren’t feeling it. For this reason, it is important to know your triggers and plan a course of action for when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Go for a quick walk and recoup, spend time with younger family members, or excuse yourself for some quiet time in your room. Whatever your plan may be, don’t let it include prescription drug abuse, and remember to have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving holiday!

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