Barriers to Recovery During the Holidays

Addiction is a chronic, progressive condition that requires treatment to overcome. However, a large percentage of people who need treatment do not seek it. There are several reasons for this, but there seems to be even more of a reluctance to get help around the holidays. If you or someone you love is experiencing addiction and are finding roadblocks keep popping up, keep reading for the extra barriers to recovery during the holidays and how to overcome them.

Traditions and Festivities

One of the major barriers to recovery during the holidays is that people simply do not want to miss out on all the holiday traditions and festivities. This can be especially true if there are gatherings with family members you don’t always get to see. Exchanging gifts with family on Christmas morning, lighting the menorah, enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, and being part of all your family’s unique yearly traditions could make anyone feel terrible at the thought of not being there.

However, the most important thing in the world — more so than holiday traditions — is your health and well-being. Chances are, your family is more than ready for you to get help. They have probably been urging you for a while. The good news about the holidays is that they will be here next year. Your family can’t say the same thing about you right now. There is no better time than now to get help, even around the holidays, so that your family can enjoy your presence for many more years to come.


The holidays are financially stressful for every family. There are large expenses that go into purchasing gifts, decor, Christmas trees, food, and more around the holidays, especially if you have children. It might not seem like the best time to spend a large amount of money on addiction treatment, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Cost of Addiction

The cost of addiction treatment will be the best investment you and your family will ever make. Think of all the money you have spent this year alone on your addiction. Even though addiction treatment may have a high up-front cost, you will be saving your family thousands upon thousands of dollars next year alone, and a fortune in the long run.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, every dollar invested in addiction treatment programs yields a return of between $4 and $7 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft. When savings related to healthcare are included, total savings can exceed costs by a ratio of 12 to 1.

Waiting for the New Year

The new year is a time for reflection, setting goals, becoming motivated for the year ahead and to make new changes. This can leave many people feeling like they should just wait for the new year to make significant changes to their lives. However, chances are, you have made this new year’s resolution before. One of the hallmarks of addiction is the inability to slow or stop use, and you have likely encountered this reality many times.

When addiction is present, overdose can happen at any time. What if you overdose between now and the new year? What if you get in an impaired driving accident between now and the new year? What if you get arrested for possession between now and the new year? Don’t put off something that can save your life — there is no better time than now.


One of the biggest barriers to recovery during the holidays — and any other time of the year — is the stigma surrounding addiction. So many people have a difficult time admitting they have a problem and are usually the last ones to realize it. Then, once they do realize it, they can find it is very difficult to bring themselves to getting the help they need. This is because people suffering from addiction are so often portrayed as people of low moral standards, people who cannot control their lives, are homeless, are untrustworthy, and just all around not “good” people.

The truth is, addiction can affect anyone. From celebrities and executives to blue-collar people, addiction does not discriminate. That is why it is so important to find a place that will make you feel accepted, with many like-minded people around you. By being able to relate to people you are going through treatment with, you will find that you are not alone.

About Cliffside Malibu

Just because the holidays are approaching doesn’t mean you should put off your treatment needs. Missing the holidays this year can seem like a somber thought, but it is not nearly as somber as a fatal overdose or other major negative consequence that could take place. The good news is: the holidays will be back next year, and you will be a year into your recovery. Imagine how wonderful that will be.

Since no two addictions are the same, Cliffside Malibu offers an individualized treatment plan for every client. We are committed to providing evidence-based treatment through a continuum of care model including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment, and outpatient services. Our program also includes family therapy and holistic therapy, as well. Whether an individual is suffering from substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction, our programs are structured to create a supportive environment where healing can begin.

In addition to world-class treatment, Cliffside Malibu offers luxury accommodations, a serene environment, five-star dining, and plentiful amenities. We understand that addiction treatment is a rigorous process. Therefore, we provide for your comfort and relaxation at every turn, allowing you to rejuvenate, and meet the demands of treatment with your greatest energy and attention.

For more information on Cliffside Malibu, visit