Entering Treatment around the Holidays

Champagner on Glass Table with Bokeh backgroundWhen the holidays roll around, people often put things on hold, including work projects, fitness goals, home-improvement undertakings, and much more. Unfortunately, people struggling with substance abuse disorders may allow their addiction to reach this same priority, with intentions to “deal with it” after the holiday chaos has passed. But why wait until the new year to make long overdue changes?

The upsides to treatment during the holidays may take you by surprise. Those in need of treatment may find that fitting a program into their schedule is actually easier in the months of November and December due to the fact that employers regularly foresee absences during these slow business months. Additionally, treatment may be easier to finance, as many people have already met their insurance deductibles.

The most noteworthy benefit of holiday treatment, however, is avoiding the possibility of substance abuse intensifying. The stress of family obligations, gift buying, and holiday celebrations can increase the desires of those struggling to turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of coping. Also, many holiday parties revolve around drinking alcohol, sometimes excessively in the form of binge drinking.

It can be dangerous to delay treatment, too. There is a higher incidence of drunk driving arrests, fatal accidents, and drug overdoses during the holiday season. Seeking treatment can keep you or your loved one safe, as well as offer the opportunity to start a new year off in recovery. Going to treatment 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, you or your loved one will already have strategies and plans in place.

The sooner treatment is considered, the better. You can learn more about drug and alcohol abuse and treatment options at RecoverGateway.org or by calling Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers for a confidential consultation at 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Reduce Chances of Relapse by Planning Ahead for Holiday Social Affairs

holiday planning, stress, relapse prevention, recoverySince the holidays can be a stressful time, the more planning you do ahead of time, the more prepared you will be for challenging situations…and the more you will enjoy yourself this holiday season! Take that extra time to give yourself some T.L.C.

We recommend that you:
• Maintain your regular routines as much as possible, such as sleeping enough.
• Get proper nutrition and don’t overdo unhealthy holiday treats.
• Take medications that may be prescribed for mental health disorders.
• Keep your appointments with your healthcare practitioners.
• Attend 12-step and other support groups. Many recovery groups convene on holidays.

If you will be going to social gatherings where alcohol may be served, here are some helpful strategies to help you avoid a relapse:

• Try to find out who will be attending the family, business or neighborhood gathering. Knowing who will be there will help you feel more in control, and anticipate questions or comments from friends, family or strangers.
• Give yourself permission to excuse yourself for some time away from the people or any situation that is uncomfortable for you. You can go to a quiet place, step outside, or even go home, if needed.
• Bring along your favorite non-alcoholic beverage for your host to serve.
• Call your sponsor before to talk through your goals for the gathering. Keep your sponsor’s phone number handy so you can call for help if needed.

Remember, with Gateway, all you have to do is call. If you, a family member or friend is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse this holiday season, call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

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