When holidays come around, it’s common to use recreational drugs. Society tends to sanction the use of alcohol and drugs on days off, especially when there’s a reason to celebrate. However, for those people who are struggling with an addiction or who are attempting to stay sober, holidays can be dangerous.

For instance, with the recent holiday July 4th, there is often plenty of drinking. Alcohol is such a socially acceptable substance and yet it’s a dangerous drug for too many people. Even those who don’t drink are sometimes vulnerable to the dangers of drinking, such as when there is a drunk-driving accident. Even though it’s not the most addictive drug there is – cocaine and heroin significantly surpass alcohol in its addictive quality – alcohol continues to be the cause of millions of deaths around the world. Furthermore, many suicides take place because of effect of alcohol. If such a person were not under the influence, it’s possible that he or she would have made a different choice. Lastly, alcohol has a detrimental on one’s health when drinking because a long-time habit.

Another popular drug used over holidays is marijuana. The main ingredient in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Marijuana comes from the hemp plant which grows wild around the world, and it is often smoked or ingested by eating foods that have marijuana mixed into it. Despite popular thought, marijuana has many dangers to it. Marijuana has been associated with crime, drinking, and addictions to other substances. Furthermore, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) considers marijuana to be a Schedule I drug and has listed it as the fourth most abused drug in the United States behind opiates, nicotine, and alcohol. Marijuana use can cause adrenal weakness, hypoglycemia, fatigue, lethargy, and loss of motivation in life.

Ecstasy, sometimes known as Molly, is another popular drug used on holidays. This can be especially true during the summer, when social gatherings happen more frequently. Raves, camping trips, and summer concerts can often invite the use of ecstasy. The drug has a hallucinogenic as well as stimulating effect on its users. However, it can become dangerous to the mind when used excessively and can be dangerous to others if users are driving or acting erratically.

Other drugs commonly used on holidays include spice (a manufactured equivalent to marijuana), mushrooms, and bath salts (another manufactured drug). Because these drugs, along with alcohol, are such a major thread in the fabric of society, and often encouraged by society on holidays, it can be challenging to educate the public about the dangers of substance use. Furthermore, drugs and alcohol make up a large percentage of the American economy. For instance, the U.S. beverage alcohol industry alone is a major contributor to the economy, responsible for more than $400 billion in total U.S. economic activity per year, generating nearly $100 billion in wages and more than 4 million jobs for U.S. workers.

Despite the popular notion to use drugs and alcohol on holidays as a means to celebrate, it’s up to each person individually to decide whether to stay sober. This is particularly true for recovering addicts. Although it might be popular to use drugs, it’s up to you to protect your sobriety. Even if you have to get support to protect your recovery, it’s essential that you do just that!

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