There’s something about the holiday season that brings out nearly every emotion on the spectrum. The stress of shopping and decorating, the nostalgia of holidays past, the joys of giving, and the pain of seeing struggles in the lives of those we love.
Addiction, as we know, doesn’t just destroy individuals – it can tear down entire families.
For those families combating drug or alcohol addiction, the holidays surface more hurt and anger than festivity. More agony than cheer. More heartache and heartbreak than comfort and joy. While the rest of the year is full of affliction, it’s the final few months of the year that can lead to more arguments, resentment, and unhappiness.
Despite all of the sorrows, for some reason, it’s still somehow hard to take action. Every single day, our treatment specialists hear the excuses why people won’t go to drug or alcohol treatment at Christmas time. So many excuses, we’ll have to delve into it another time.
Instead, we want to explain why the holiday season is actually the best time for treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. That’s right, the best time. I want to clarify: Any time you can get help for yourself or a loved one, it’s a great time. But right now – this holiday season – is the absolute best and most important time to find help for addiction.
You don’t have to “wait it out” with the holidays and just deal with it, rather than recognize this can be the perfect time to get the drug and alcohol treatment you or your loved one needs. Waiting until after the holidays will only extend your unhappiness – but getting the help you need will give you the renewed hope for the new year.
If you’re like most of the people we talk to this time of year, you’re probably already discounting your family as an exception to this statement. Hear me out on this one. Let me give you the top four reasons why the holidays are actually the best time to get drug and alcohol treatment.
- Our treatment campuses keep your loved ones away from the stresses of the outside world. Alcohol tends to flow freely this time of year, as people find it is more “acceptable” to drink. Whether it’s drinks at office parties or family parties, or a few painkillers as an excuse to deal with the stress of the season – temptations are all around. While addiction treatment may not sound like the best place for you or a loved one to spend at Christmas, for many people in active addiction – it’s actually an invaluable shelter from the pressures and temptations of the outside world.If your loved one is drinking heavily over the holidays and/or using pain-killers or other sedative-type drugs such as oxycodone or heroin, they’re at an ever higher risk of overdosing this time of year. Waiting to get treatment can have tragic consequences.
- Addiction treatment will renew the way your family sees the holidays. For families that are dealing with addiction, the holidays can bring up so many resentments – reliving disappointments of the past year, maybe even years past. That negativity can escalate and lead to even more negative behavior.If you’ve seen previous family gathering and holidays ruined by drugs or alcohol, the shift towards recovery this time of year can reset family feelings. Instead of having the season be a time to dread, transform it into a time of change and renewal.
- Time away from work is easier to plan. Getting addiction treatment at the holidays is the best time – if not for an emotional reason, than for a very logical reason. Most people can plan time away from work during the holidays more easily. With Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day typically holidays for most businesses, it’s less time away from the office. Addiction treatment isn’t about convenience, but if there was ever a more “convenient” time – this is it.
- Your insurance deductible has likely been met by now. Need another logical reason? Think about the insurance. You’ve had insurance claims throughout the year – even if you haven’t met your deductible or your max out-of-pocket, you’re closer now than when it renews at the beginning of the year. Also, many companies have a fourth quarter carry-overs, where all out-of-pocket payments will be applied to your deductible in January. Getting treatment now will likely be less expensive for you and your family than if you wait until the new year.We make it as easy as possible to figure that part out: we will call your insurance company for you to determine your coverage and payment options. The last thing you need to do is try to untangle your insurance, benefits, coverage, premiums and deductibles. Our benefits coordinators do all of that for you – for free.
You don’t have to wait it out at the holidays. You don’t have to just “deal with it.” The morbid truth is you may not have the chance to get addiction treatment for you or a loved one if you wait. Delaying treatment for a family member or friend who is in serious trouble with addiction could have irreversible consequences: drunk driving arrests and fatal car accidents peak this time of year, and fatal overdoses happen every single holiday.
Imagine next Christmas, next Hanukkah, next New Years – every single holiday after this – with your loved one completely sober. The holidays bring up so many emotions. Let this year’s emotion be hope.