'Have an exit plan': Experts say protecting sobriety during the holidays is possible

Sobriety pitfalls are everywhere during the holidays, from the obvious “Drinksgiving” to more passive triggers like a stressful family dinner.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Heading into the holiday season, many will be celebrating without alcohol. For some, it’s part of their journey toward sobriety, which can be extra challenging this time of year.

“The holidays are not always joyous and celebratory,” said Molly Simpson, director of clinical services at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in Newberg.

She said family gatherings can be stressful enough for someone who’s struggling with sobriety, but throw in the lingering impacts of the pandemic and you have a powder keg of

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