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Signs that Putting off Alcohol Rehab for the Holidays is a Bad Idea

For someone battling an alcohol abuse problem, the decision to enter alcohol rehab doesn’t come easily. Alcohol’s effects on the brain warp a person’s logic and reasoning abilities, so troubling circumstances or the negative consequences from drinking have likely brought about a change of heart in a big way.

With the holidays well under way, it can be difficult to follow through on this decision considering how special this time of year is and the many festivities that go on. For these same reasons, putting off alcohol rehab until the holidays end can cause considerably more harm than good in the long run.

The Alcohol Abuse Cycle

Like other addictive substances, alcohol interferes with the brain’s chemical system, creating a state of physical dependency, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism. As physical dependency takes hold, drinkers start to experience withdrawal effects (also known as hangovers) on a more frequent basis. While more drinking may well relieve these effects, this practice only plays into the alcohol abuse cycle. With drinking being an accepted part of the holiday season, the series of hangovers on the horizon make for prime conditions for the alcohol abuse cycle to step into high gear.

The Holiday Effect

holiday alcohol abuse

Preparing for the holidays is stressful for some, and can lead to binge drinking behaviors.

Holiday pressures can take any number of forms depending on a person’s family traditions. Those most commonly experienced include:

  • Money pressures
  • Buying the right gifts for loved ones
  • Contending with crowded stores and congested roadways
  • Family get-togethers, work functions
  • Holiday preparations

In effect, the holidays disrupt everyday routines and also entail spending considerable amounts of time with people you don’t normally see on a regular basis. These changes create the type of stress that drives increases in drinking behaviors.

Before long, the brain’s physical dependency on alcohol turns into a psychological dependency, which lies at the heart of alcohol addiction, according to the U. S. Department of Health & Human Services. At this point, drinking becomes a means for coping with mounting pressures. In the process, a person starts to believe he or she needs alcohol to make it through the day.

Once addiction takes hold, you’re drinking patterns will persist even after the holidays have come and gone. In effect, alcohol has become a central part of your overall psychological make-up, dictating your thought patterns, emotions and behaviors within any given day.

Signs You Need Alcohol Rehab Now

Considering the factors that make the holiday season what it is, putting off alcohol rehab until the start of the New Year may leave you in dire straits, both physically and mentally. Certain apparent signs will point to whether you need alcohol rehab now:

  • Drinking to cope with mounting holiday pressures
  • Drinking to overcome feelings of depression or anxiety
  • Having had blackout episodes in the past
  • Inability to stop drinking or limit alcohol intake
  • Emotional outbursts

If you or someone you know struggles with alcohol abuse and have experienced one or more of the above signs, you may want to seriously consider entering alcohol rehab now rather than risk dealing with the temptations that come with the holiday season. If you have any additional questions about alcohol abuse or need help finding an alcohol rehab program in your area, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-481-6320 for more information.

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