The Holidays are a joyful time for most people. It means time off work and time spent with loved ones. For those struggling with addiction, the holidays can be a very stressful time.
Those in active addiction face many obstacles during the holidays. Holidays bring family members together to see each other and check in on how everyone’s life is going. If addiction has taken a toll on an individual in recent months, the holidays make it clear that something is going on. The addict in active addiction may have lost weight or appear more isolative and withdrawn compared to the year before. This can be stressful as family members may worry and ask what exactly is going on with them.
The holidays can also be stressful for those in active addiction because drinking is a central theme at many holiday get-togethers. When an addict or alcoholic takes a drink, they seldom stop at one or two and never know where the drink will take them. More often than not drinking results in some form of drama from being too drunk, such as being emotional, insulting others, physically assaulting others or other regrettable behaviors. Many addicts can recall a painful memory of the holidays, either with family or purposefully isolated from family.
Another stress can be the financial stress that is brought on by the holidays. No matter what holiday you celebrate, the vast majority of them involve buying things for others. Many in addiction have no money at all. Any funds they do have usually go directly to fueling their habit. To avoid the discomfort of not bearing gifts they may make up excuses or not show up at all.
It is because of these stresses that many addicts have sobriety dates around this time of year. Many hit their bottoms during the holiday season because of what their addiction represented during this iconic time of year. Instead of being grateful they felt hopeless. Instead of feeling joyful they felt ashamed. Instead of feeling full of love they self loathed. After entering treatment and being in recovery they began to appreciate these stresses because the unbearable weight of holiday stress ultimately lead them to seek treatment.
If this holiday season you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction too big to endure, our addiction treatment program can help. We are open on Christmas, Chanukah, New Years Eve, New Years Day and every day to help those who need our detox and drug and alcohol rehab services.