Should I Go to Rehab Around the Holidays?

should I go to rehab around the holidays

Should I Go to Rehab Around the Holidays?

For many people the holiday season is a time of celebration. However, people who are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol often find that the holidays are a depressing time that’s filled with denial and secrecy. People with an addiction often have trouble enjoying themselves when the holidays arrive and they feel ashamed of their addiction so they work to hide it from their family and friends. It’s not a very happy holiday season for them.

It tends to be difficult for people to admit that they have a problem. Even when someone realizes that they struggle with addiction, it can be overwhelming and frightening to take the steps necessary to make a change and overcome the addiction. As a result, many people maintain the status quo, even if it makes them and their loved ones unhappy.

For people who are ready to take the next step and move forward with treatment for their addiction, it can be tempting to wait until after the holidays to begin treatment. Many people tell themselves that the holidays are meant to be fun and spent with loved ones at home, not at a drug and alcohol treatment center. Besides, they tell themselves that going to rehab can be their New Year’s resolution after the holidays. However, the team at HARP can think of many reasons why people should consider going to rehab around or during the holidays.

To show you that it is a good idea to enter a drug treatment program during the holidays, the drug and alcohol treatment professionals at HARP have compiled a list of reasons why the holidays can be one of the best times of the year to go to rehab.

1. The Holidays Can Intensify Addiction

Although holiday movies and greeting cards make the holidays seem like a joyful time, everyone knows that the holidays can be quite stressful – and stress fuels addictive behaviors. People have to juggle the usual family and work obligations, while also squeezing in holiday shopping and parties.

Speaking of parties, many people take these events as a socially acceptable opportunity to drink alcohol to excess, which is far from good for addiction. For people who don’t have a network of friends and family, the holidays can be a lonely time, which can fuel depression and addictive behaviors.

Obviously, the holidays can be a dangerous time to struggle with an addiction to any substance, so why wait to get help? The longer a person waits to go to a drug and alcohol treatment program, the more damage occurs to their physical and psychological health, personal and professional relationships, and career. Additionally, people who struggle with addiction often have one or more co-occurring mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression. When someone delays treatment for an addiction, their addiction, and other co-existing disorders get worse, which can lead to other serious problems in life.

2. Addiction Can Interfere with the Holidays

Although everyone wants to be home for the holidays, addiction can make the season difficult for the individual and their loved ones. Instead of relaxing by wrapping presents and baking cookies, a family who is impacted by a loved one’s addiction might find that their holidays are stressful and frustrating. As much as we all wish it were possible, the holiday season does not make addiction disappear, and some people with an addiction may create a scene during the celebrations. This situation can be frightening for children and aggravating for adults.

Not only are there problems with the family member who is suffering from addiction, there may also be issues with their loved ones. After years of dealing with a loved one’s addiction, family members might find themselves angry and resentful, causing them to lash out with hurtful comments or actions. People with an addiction already feel ashamed, having their family members act in such a way can make them feel worse – and even exacerbate their addiction.

3. The Holidays are Emotional

Although the holidays are supposed to be about peace and joy, many people feel emotional and stressed out. Maybe it’s because of all the activity and responsibilities that are associated with the holiday season, or it might be because people are disappointed by their reality due to unrealistic expectations about what the holidays should look like.

Whatever the reason, the holidays can trigger feelings of depression and loneliness. It can also bring family and personal issues into clear focus. Rather than dealing with these feelings alone – and potentially descending further into addiction – people should consider going to rehab during the holidays. A drug and alcohol treatment program can be a safe place to address addictions, emotions, and issues that have been affecting a person’s life.

Speaking of emotions, family members and loved ones can also use the magic and sentiment of the holiday season to stage an intervention. Loved ones can start the conversation by telling their family member that they love them and want them to spend the holidays with them for many years to come, but recovery from addiction should come first. This is a strong message that can be very effective in encouraging people with an addiction to change.

4. The Weather

For most people in the United States, the weather during the holidays can be quite unpleasant. While a little bit of snow around Christmas might be a welcomed sight to some, others are less than thrilled about the chilly and icy weather. Many reputable drug and alcohol treatment centers, including HARP, are located in beautiful and sunny locations.

Going to rehab might not be easy, but many locations afford men and women the opportunity to enjoy pleasant weather during their stay. In fact, clients at HARP can enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the ocean, playing outdoor sports, and relaxing near the beach when they are finished with their recovery work for the day. Although rehab is not a vacation, attending a program in a sunny, beachside location can be nice during the winter months.

5. Work and School Tend to Slow Down

Everyone knows that it’s very difficult to get any work done during the holidays. With so many employees on vacation and everyone in a holiday state of mind, November and December are not exactly peak times for productivity at work. As a result, people can feel more comfortable taking time off of work to attend a drug and alcohol treatment program.

If a person is in school, the holidays can also be a great time to go to rehab. Universities and colleges always have winter break around the holidays. Depending on how long a person needs to stay in rehab, they might be able to attend a treatment program without having to miss classes.

Elementary, middle school, and high school children also enjoy winter break during the holidays. If a parent has to go to a drug rehab center, they might be able to arrange for their children to stay with relatives while they are away – without interfering with their children’s school schedules.

6. Rehab Centers Have Shorter Wait Lists during the Holidays

Towards the end of the year, drug and alcohol treatment centers tend to have fewer patients and shorter wait lists. As a result, people can get into a treatment program more quickly and have a great experience during their time in the center. Because there are fewer patients, drug and alcohol treatment professionals can provide clients with more individualized attention and care – for the same cost.

For people who are hoping to get into an exclusive drug and alcohol treatment program, they might find that they can get in during the holidays without having to be put on a waitlist.

7. Rehab Centers Try to Make the Holidays Special

Drug and alcohol treatment professionals know that clients would much rather be spending the holidays with their friends and family. They admire clients’ commitment to getting clean and sober during the holiday season – and they strive to make the experience as pleasant as possible.

Many alcohol and drug rehab centers will decorate their facilities to be festive for the holidays. They might provide special holiday meals and events, while also hosting family programs to involve family members and traditions in the recovery process. Other activities that might occur during the holidays in rehab include card and gift making, holiday parties, and caroling. Regardless of how a rehab center celebrates the holidays, you can be sure that the majority of them will do everything they can to make it a special occasion for their clients.

8. The Best Gift is Sobriety

Coming up with holiday gift ideas can be difficult. However, ask any loved one of someone with an addiction to drugs or alcohol what they want for Christmas and they will all tell you the same thing – they want their loved one to recover from their addiction.

Instead of agonizing over what new toys and gadgets to get friends and family members, people with an addiction can give them the gift of knowing they’re in a safe and comfortable treatment center, learning how to get, and stay clean and sober for life. Loved ones will no longer have to worry about how their addicted family member will embarrass them during the holidays or, even worse, how much longer they’ll even have them in their lives. People with an addiction can give the gift of peace of mind and the best version of themselves for years to come.

9. Starting the New Year off Right with Sobriety

Many people focus on making recovery their New Year’s resolution, but it is even better to start the New Year already clean and sober. The majority of New Year’s resolutions fail around mid-February – the time when many of the once-packed gyms start to look pretty empty. This same thing can happen when sobriety is designated as a New Year’s resolution. However, by attending drug and alcohol rehab during the holidays, people can go into the New Year with the tools, plans, and strategies they need to start the year right and maintain their progress all year long.

Regardless of the time of year, most people can always find an excuse not to go to rehab. Work is hectic, the family vacation with the kids is planned, school is getting busy, the house needs to be renovated, or money is tight. During the holidays, some of these reasons disappear and others pop up, primarily the belief that people shouldn’t be away from their family during the holidays.

However, being physically present in life and during the holidays is very different from being emotionally present. Also, an addiction to drug and alcohol can cause serious damage to careers, relationships, and health. It makes sense to miss out on one holiday to avoid the regret and long-term consequences that could cause you to miss out on future holidays with your loved ones.




If you’re feeling overwhelmed about going to rehab during the holidays, our caring and knowledgeable drug and alcohol treatment professionals can give you the answers you need to feel good about getting sober during the holidays. If you or someone you love needs help recovering from an addiction, the experts at HARP are here.

The HARP Methodology specializes in treating addiction to many different substances. Our team of compassionate medical professionals and addiction treatment specialists provides individual and group counseling, detox, support, and long-term resources to ensure that each client has a positive and productive stay at our treatment center before they go home – clean and sober. With help and support, recovery from addiction is possible. HARP can help clients live a fulfilling life that’s free from drug and alcohol addiction.

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