Marie Garceau

By Marie Garceau

Valentine’s Day, for many people, is an opportunity to celebrate a relationship. However, for others who are not in a relationship, it could be a day that brings up bad memories or negative emotions.

This can be especially true for people in sobriety who have recovered from an addiction. The day has the potential to serve as a trigger to drink alcohol or use drugs.

Emotions that could arise include guilt, sadness, depression, anxiety, and anger. Fortunately, there are practical tips and methods to prevent relapse, treat the day as any other, or enjoy Valentine’s Day.

Initially, if you know someone struggling with substance use disorder, it is vital to intervene and get them help. Addictions become worse with time.

“The best approach to prevent relapse involves identifying triggers and stressors that could cause relapse,” said Michael Leach of

Valentine’s Day can be a stressor and cause someone to become hyper-focused on their love life. Yet, it could also be other triggers, such as work responsibilities, family stressors, health issues, and financial obligations.

In addition, if there are particular situations or a group of people that places you on edge, it is ok to avoid it or them and set boundaries.

It is critical to identify these triggers, whatever they could be, and have a plan to manage them healthily.

Another excellent tip is to counter the culture of the day and unplug from social media. Valentine’s Day places a high expectation on having a significant other. However, this could be an opportunity to create your own traditions with your kids, parents, friends, or other family members.

The day could be an opportunity to celebrate other forms of love. Finally, stay unplugged from social media, especially if you know the day is triggering and creates negative emotions.

Overall, it is up to the individual to stay safe and healthy, but if someone is struggling, have a support system and utilize this support.

Marie Garceau has been working in the field of substance use and addiction recovery for over a decade.

Her primary focus is to reach out to the community and spread awareness. She does this to educate others about the dangers of drug use and to help prevent individuals from using drugs.