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What’s Preventing You from Seeking Treatment Over the Holidays?

Don't avoid treatment over the holidays because you don’t want to miss out on the fun!

Don’t avoid treatment over the holidays because you don’t want to miss out on the fun!

While there may be a lack of evidence that supports an increase in suicide rates or depression during the holidays, there is no lack of evidence to suggest the increase in the need for addiction treatment during the stressful holiday times. While there may be millions of people just like you who need help for addiction, the holidays are often not the time when we seek help—but why? What is it that prevents people from getting help during the holidays and what is it that keeps this disease causing distress during a season that should be full of cheer?

The greatest gift you may ever receive would be to seek help during the holiday season and to be on your way to recovery. Unfortunately, many people will party even more during the holidays and despite the requests of friends or family members for them to get help, they will refuse. The National Health Institute estimates that as many as 10.8 million underage drinkers will take part in binge drinking the day before Thanksgiving. To further escalate problems, the use of alcohol increases significantly during the month of December leading up to New Year’s Day.

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, dedicated so because as many as 25% more traffic accidents occur during this time of the year when alcohol consumption is on the rise, holiday parties result in additional instances of DUI and impaired driving and overall substance abuse is increased as a whole.

Stress Increases During the Holidays

Despite the general increase in drug and alcohol abuse during the holidays, many will forgo treatment for addiction at least until after the holiday season. Likewise, many people will seek treatment as part of their New Year’s resolution to get well and to overcome addiction.

Unfortunately, the holiday season is also a stressful season. Families get together and, while this is intended to bring joy and happiness, there is often animosity and unmet expectations that occur causing additional stress and additional drug or alcohol abuse. Almost half of all women in America experience heightened stress levels during the holiday season and many will engage in unhealthy activities and behaviors as a result of the increased stress.

Staying with Family for the Holidays

A huge excuse that tends to come up during the holidays is that those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol do not want to leave their families during the holidays. Unfortunately, there is an increased instance of loneliness that comes when an addict has the tendency to feel as an outcast when the holiday cheer comes about. There’s nothing happy and cheerful about addiction and yet, we forgo treatment because we want to stay with our loved ones. What addicts sometimes do not think about during the holidays is that by getting help, they have a better chance at enjoying the holiday cheer during the next season.

Statistics Show that New Year’s Resolutions Rarely Stick

While most people will hold off on drug or alcohol addiction treatment during the holidays, and many will make a New Year’s Resolution to get well, statistics show that these resolutions rarely stick. Millions of people make the commitment to change their lives after the holidays and the majority of them will fall back into old routines within just a few short weeks or months at most. If you’re forgoing treatment for addiction because you want to stay with family, feel lonely, think you’ll make a resolution after the New Year or for a related reason, these ironies are not going to assist you in recovery. There’s no better time than this holiday season to seek the help and support that you need to get well.

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