Is Addiction Treatment During the Holidays a Good Idea?

Addiction treatment during the holidays can seem tricky. For many individuals, the holidays are a merry time; a time to reunite, a time to rejoice, and a time to party – an activity that often encourages heavy drinking and recreational drug use. But for individuals suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction, the festive landscape is rife with landmines that threaten both sobriety and safety. Whether it’s another party invitation or a stressful family situation, addiction triggers abound this time of year.

Expounding on the issue of holiday stress and addiction, Harvard Medical School professor Peter Grinspoon, M.D., advises that individuals suffering from addiction make contingency plans in case it all becomes too much. “It is critical to have a plan in place, in advance of the holidays, to minimize stress and dangerous exposures.”

While starting addiction treatment during the holidays probably isn’t at the top of your wish list, there are many reasons the holiday season is the perfect time to start the recovery process. Considering enrolling in addiction treatment this holiday season? Here’s what you should know.

The Facts About Addiction During the Holidays

The pressure to participate in “social drinking” and be around illegal substances during the holiday season can be overwhelming for individuals. If they refuse, they risk being viewed as a killjoy; if they choose to partake, it can lead them down a dangerous path of destructive behavior. This is a recipe for stress – and a good reason to seek treatment.

  • According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, 34 percent of traffic fatalities were alcohol-related during the 2017 holiday season.
  • During the holiday season, self-care often takes a back seat. Seldom-seen relatives can invade your personal space, holiday shopping can lead to financial worries, the perceived happiness of others can invoke feelings of loneliness – and all of these things can spark substance abuse.
  • The holidays are often used as an excuse for bad behavior – especially excessive drinking, which is even accepted at many office parties. Things can get particularly tricky if an individual feels it’s inappropriate to decline the company holiday party invitation or drink offers from coworkers.
  • Christmas and New Year’s Eve aside, Halloween is also a massive drinking holiday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that during the Halloween nights spanning 2009 through 2013, 43 percent of fatal car crashes involved intoxicated drivers.

For some, the best way to avoid triggering or indulging substance addiction during the holidays is to avoid the holidays altogether until they’re further along in the recovery process. For these individuals, treatment during the holidays can be both wise and beneficial.

Why Should I Undergo Addiction Treatment During the Holidays?

The holidays can be an excellent time to focus on your sobriety. Choosing to undergo addiction treatment this holiday season can bring you a different kind of peace and joy. Here’s why to consider addiction treatment over the holidays:

  • It shows commitment. Entering an addiction treatment program during a season of excess shows a strong level of commitment to your recovery and a healthy future.
  • It removes temptation from the equation. If you’re enrolled in an addiction treatment program during the holidays, you can skip the holiday parties – and keep a safe distance from any enticing substances they might present.
  • Your loved ones will understand. Patients often worry they’ll miss out on memorable events and quality time by enrolling in substance abuse treatment during the holidays, but it’s just the opposite: By investing in your recovery, you’re showing your loved ones how much you value a long future with them in it. If they truly care about you, they’ll respect that you’re forgoing festivities to undergo treatment.
  • You’ll get a head start on recovery. Many individuals think recovery is what New Year’s resolutions are for–and the increase in treatment enrollment in January is evidence that many people choose to start the New Year by checking themselves into a rehab center. By starting your recovery in November or December, you’ll get a head start.
  • Start next year strong. Beginning your journey to addiction recovery this holiday season will motivate you to stay in recovery, so you can fully enjoy the next holiday season without worrying it will reverse the progress you’ve made.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 114 individuals die because of drugs every day, and that the nonmedical use of drugs accounted for 1,244,872 emergency department visits in 2011. Don’t let tragedy be the reason you seek treatment this holiday season – take proactive control of your addiction.

About Cliffside Malibu

No matter what the time of year, choosing to undergo addiction treatment is a huge decision and not one to take lightly. With so many options in rehabilitation facilities and programs, it’s hard to know what’s best for you or your loved one.

Since no two addictions are the same, Cliffside Malibu offers an individualized treatment plan for each and every client. We are committed to providing the best care possible through.a continuum of care including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment, and outpatient services. Our program includes not only evidence-based behavioral therapy but family therapy and holistic therapy, as well. Whether an individual is suffering from substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction, our programs are designed and structured to be a supportive environment in order to maintain sobriety.

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, to meet the demands of treatment with your greatest energy and attention.

For more information on Cliffside Malibu, visit