We often hear prospective patients and their loved ones ask the question “Do I / they have to be there during Christmas”? For the individuals and families suffering from alcohol or drug addiction the idea of not being together for the holidays can seem too tough to bear. The holidays have a way of bringing families together, but in active addiction can tear them even further apart. The pain of seeing the struggle in the lives of those we love, or the feelings of guilt and shame of our own addiction during the holiday season can be amplified at this time of year. For those individuals and families affected by drug or alcohol addiction, the holidays can create more resentment and suffering than joy. Despite all of the dysfunction that comes along with active addiction during the holidays, for many taking action and creating a plan to attend treatment can appear somehow more difficult.
Although any time of the year someone can seek help for their own or their loved one’s addiction, the holidays can create a particularly beneficial platform for change. A few of these reasons are:
- It is often the one time of the year a family gets together. ‘Hitting rock bottom’ doesn’t have to be the reason someone comes to residential treatment. The family can reach their own bottom. Loved ones can utilize this time to get together to set boundaries, state what they are willing to do to support someone’s recovery, and what they are no longer willing to do to enable them in their addiction. The family can take advantage of their time together, to provide the loving and supportive “push” it may take to help someone transition into residential addiction treatment. This process can be facilitated by our professional interventionist network located in Victoria, BC.
- Getting help for addictions can bring families closer together and create new, healthier holiday traditions for years to come. When a family is suffering from addiction, unhealthy behaviours and traditions can become the norm. Past resentments surface, fueling arguments and creating new resentments. People walk on egg shells. Holiday functions are missed, excuses are made, and promises are broken. Having someone attend treatment during this previously tumultuous time can make way for authentic conversation, reset family feelings and values, create hope for the future and make sharing feelings easier in a manner conducive to healing and lead to lasting positive transformation.
- Triggers and negative consequences can be avoided. The holidays can be the most difficult time of year to avoid substances. Those suffering from addiction can try to “be on their best behaviour” but this expectation can often if not always lead to disappointment and despair, and only contributes to the problem. Addiction is a disease which means it is out of a person’s control. Something that may seem as simple as seeing a glass of champagne can be a major trigger for someone suffering from addiction. The holidays can be the excuse used for things to get out of control. It becomes more socially acceptable to watch loved ones suffer from the disease of addiction at this time. The reality is that someone may not have the chance to get treatment if you wait until the holidays are over. Accidents caused by drunk driving peak during the winter holidays. Attending treatment during this particularly sensitive time could provide relief for everyone affected by addiction and potentially avoid drastic and sometimes fatal consequences.
- It is the time of year for new beginnings. New Year resolutions are set, and more often than not, broken when struggling with substance abuse, alcoholism or any addiction. The promise to self and others of “I will never drink/use/do that again” is familiar, only to find themselves back in the same negative cycle. Attending treatment in the new year can be an opportunity to create lasting change and hope for the years to come.
Attending residential addiction treatment could be the biggest gift you give yourself and your loved ones this holiday season. If you or someone you know if suffering from alcoholism or addiction please contact Cedars Admissions at 1-866-716-2006 today.