Why You Shouldn’t Prolong Recovery During the Holidays

For those currently on the path to recovery for substance misuse, the necessity to continue their recovery during the holidays is something that should not be taken lightly. While the holiday season is certainly a time to enjoy with friends and family, many factors that go into celebrating can jeopardize the ability to recover. For that reason, it is never advised to prolong this process for the sake of “pushing it to the new year”. 

Holiday Relapse Prevention

Over the holidays  there is typically a decrease in inpatient admissions starting in November, as people who may be struggling with problematic use or maintaining their recovery don’t want to spend their holidays in rehab, nor do they want to spend it alone. Many believe they can prolong treatment into the new year, but in doing so, they become very susceptible to returning to use. As the holidays tend to bring focus to friends, family and loved ones, it becomes increasingly harder to focus on a person’s own needs. If a person takes the time they need now, to get help, recovery tips for the holidays can help ensure that anyone in their recovery process can correctly balance any and all factors that come with the change in season.

Recovery and the Holidays

The balance between recovery and the holidays is understandably frustrating for those looking to enjoy their time. However, there are plenty of reasons to make seeking residential treatment  a priority during the holidays.

  • Holiday Alcohol Consumption

           A survey performed by the American Addictions Center found that 29% of the survey respondents drank more             during the holiday season. While this may be brought on by celebratory acts, certain holiday stressors  have                   been indicated to play a major role in this over-consumption, and cause relapse of many trying to recover           from  substance abuse disorders.

  • Seasonal Depression

    Those who find the holiday season as an emotionally difficult time are not alone. In fact, 6% of Americans are affected by seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Another 14% may experience another form of seasonal mood change commonly referred to as the winter blues. In truth, the holidays are the most dangerous times of the year for drug and alcohol-related deaths, with nearly 91,000 deaths having been reported during the month of December since 1999. 

  • Your Safety and Sobriety Are the Best Gifts

    Receiving treatment now means that you can celebrate the holidays with friends and family the following year, and that is perhaps the best gift for many. Those who are currently supporting a person in recovery care more about that person’s future, and will without a doubt support any decision to seek treatment during this time. 

  • Celebrate With Others in Recovery

    The holidays at a drug rehab program are most often accompanied by an extra glow. From decorations, special meals, and certain social endeavors, these programs provide an opportunity to connect with those rooting for you back home. While spending the holidays in rehab may seem depressing, many times this period is especially uplifting, and can help people create strategies to better themselves.

Recovery Tips for the Holidays

If a person does decide to opt out of recovery during the holidays, they should still be aware of recovery tips for this time of year. This includes avoiding trigger situations or planning ahead if you have concerns about being triggered. Utilize resources within the recovery community for support, many of them offer extra meetings, parties and opportunities to do service work over the holidays. For traditions that involve drinking, avoid them or replace alcohol with something else you really like so you can still enjoy the fun while staying safe from relapse or bring a friend in recovery! And for any holiday celebration always create an “exit plan” in case the situation becomes uncomfortable. It really comes down to practicing self-care, and formulating a plan in case these urges to use arise again. Keep the happy in holidays, make sure you put your recovery efforts first! 

Retreat Behavioral Health

Retreat Behavioral Health has been helping patients with relapse prevention and other drug and alcohol treatment by providing necessary resources to combat the complications of substance abuse. As a respected provider of behavioral and mental health services, our goal is to help people easily access the best quality of care in a holistic and peaceful environment.

The admissions process is easy for prospective patients, who can contact our admissions team to familiarize themselves with the details of our comprehensive mental health care treatments. Contact us today for any questions and comments, or to schedule an appointment.