Local treatment center weighs in on challenges for people in recovery on Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 4:51 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Experts from Rochester’s Empower Treatment Center said Thanksgiving can be a challenging time for people fighting with addiction.

According to Empower’s owner Jennifer Donaldson, people in recovery face more stress and anxiety at family gatherings over the holidays.

Drug and Alcohol Counselor Margo Wunderlich added it is important for families to be mindful of their loved ones’ journey.

Donaldson said Thanksgiving is more than just a dinner for people in recovery.

“Their families are accepting them and they’re building that trust back and getting that respect back from them. They are finally realizing they are getting that family culture back, where it is this huge support system for them. And I don’t think people realize how much that actually truly helps that family member, because addiction isn’t just about an individual, it’s about the family. And when you’re welcomed back in for that Thanksgiving dinner, it might be a dinner just to them, but to the person in recovery, it’s way bigger than that.”

Empower Treatment Center Owner Jennifer Donaldson

Empower Treatment Center recommended people in recovery to verbalize their needs and wants. Donaldson suggested these family members to step away if needed and to call 988 if in crisis.