10 Reasons to Start Drug Rehab During the Holidays

10 Reasons to Start Drug Rehab During the Holidays

The last couple months of the year are a time for reflection and celebration. But for those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it can also be a time for wallowing and socially acceptable denial. Even when we know it’s time to change, the unknown can be more frightening than maintaining the status quo, even if you and everyone around you are miserable.

Why wait until New Year’s to make long-overdue changes? Here are 10 reasons to go to drug rehab now and start off the New Year with some happy holiday traditions.

1. Addictions often intensify around the holidays.
As joyful as the holiday season is, it is also a stressful time. Most people are juggling work and family obligations as well as gift-buying and holiday celebrations. Holiday parties make it a popular and socially acceptable time of year to drink alcohol excessively. For some, this can also be a lonely time, which fuels addictive behavior.

The longer you wait, the more damage will be done not only to your physical and emotional health but to your relationships, your career and your future. Many people who struggle with addiction also suffer from co-occurring mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and addictions to sex, love, food, shopping and gambling. Delaying treatment means that all of these problems may worsen as well, putting your health and finances in jeopardy.

2. The weather outside is frightful.
In most parts of the country, the cold weather makes it a popular time to escape to warmer climates. Although drug rehab requires hard work, the process can be made more comfortable by choosing a program where it is sunny and mild most of the year.

Even more important than great weather are the opportunities it affords. You’ll be able to meditate on the beach, have sober fun playing outdoor sports and let the fresh air clear your mind after a long day of recovery work. Some facilities also offer gourmet meals, massage, acupuncture and other services that make drug rehab more comfortable.

3. Work and school slow down.
November and December are slow months for many businesses and schools. The kids have vacation time that they can spend with relatives, and your job may find it easier to cover your absence during this time of year.

4. Addicted family members detract from family gatherings.
Even in dysfunctional homes, people want to be home for the holidays. But instead of trimming the trees and hanging stockings with care, an addicted family member is likely to drain all the joy and replace it with the frustration, anger and confusion. As in past years, an addicted family member is more apt to create a scene than a celebration. The magic of the season can’t make an addiction miraculously disappear – only treatment and an ongoing commitment to recovery can make change a reality.

In addicted families, the dysfunction often goes both ways. Family members – often resentful and tired of dealing with a loved one’s addiction – may make comments or take actions that make you feel even worse than you already do. Perhaps other family members are struggling with drug or alcohol addictions of their own. Whether you’re greeted with blame and shame or enabling and rescuing, the stress of being around family may exacerbate your addiction.

5. Emotions are heightened.
It’s hard to say why, but emotions run high around the holidays. It could be the positive feelings of generosity and peace. Or perhaps it’s the expectation of joy, set starkly against a reality which may not be so perfect. Whatever the reason, take advantage of those emotions and direct them in a positive direction rather than letting them lead you on a downward spiral.

Just as the holidays are brimming with cheer, they can trigger strong feelings of sadness, loneliness and isolation. They also drum up personal shortcomings and family issues that have been suppressed all year. Drug rehab is a safe place to address these feelings and lay the foundation for drama-free holidays ahead.

6. Sobriety is the best gift of all.
Addiction is a family disease. Recovery from addiction is a gift not only to yourself but to everyone who cares about you. If they know you’re safe in drug rehab, learning the skills to get and stay sober, you free them to enjoy the holidays rather than worrying when the next crisis will erupt. Skip the expensive gadgets, what your family really wants is for you to be healthy, happy and fully present for years to come.

7. Drug rehabs typically have shorter wait lists around the holidays.
The last few months of the year are typically when drug rehab centers are quietest. With fewer patients, the therapists and staff have an even greater ability to get to know you and provide individualized care. If you’re looking at some of the smaller, more exclusive drug rehab centers, you’re also less likely to be put on a wait list around the holidays.

8. The holidays can be the most effective time to break through a loved one’s denial.
When family members stage an addiction intervention or help a loved one into treatment over the holidays, they send a particularly strong message: Recovery from addiction comes first. It’s the holidays and we love you and want you to share in the festivities, but you must get sober first.

9. The treatment experience can be particularly powerful around the holidays.
Addiction treatment professionals understand that it can be difficult to be away from home during the holidays. Some of the best drug rehabs provide special holiday meals and encourage patients to share their family traditions. They also host a family program so that family members continue to be an important part of your holiday.

10. Start the New Year off right.
Going to drug rehab during the holidays means starting the New Year already having achieved some important goals. Instead of making a New Year’s resolution to get well (we all know what happens to most of these resolutions come mid-February), you will have strategies and plans in place to start the year off right.

If you look hard enough, there’s always an excuse to avoid drug rehab. Work is too busy, the kids have a big school event coming up, the holidays are coming. But none of these things matter if you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol. Being physically present but emotionally absent (or worse) harms your family, career and self more than missing some of these events to get well. Don’t waste another holiday numbing your emotions with drugs and alcohol. Stop the downward spiral and start drug rehab today.

Find relief in recovery. Life gets better with addiction treatment.

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