Overcoming Holiday Barriers to Recovery

The holidays are just around the corner and, with only a few weeks to go until the festivities begin, many individuals dealing with addictions may be thinking that now would be the worst possible time to finally get treatment. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you or your loved one needs treatment for addiction sooner than later, we’ve put together some of the most common holiday barriers to recovery and how to overcome them.

Holiday Barriers to Recovery: Sacrificing One for Many

The holidays are a wonderful time of year full of love, tradition, the spirit of giving and coming together with family. It could be a sad thought for many to realize that they might not be around to celebrate this year if they decide to go to treatment, and this is seen as a major deterrent. “I will wait until after the holidays” — does this sound familiar?

The important thing to remember is that the holiday season will be here every single year until the end of time. As long as November and December exist, there will be holidays. The same cannot be said for people struggling with addiction. Addiction is a chronic, progressive disease and fatalities are climbing. An overdose, drunk driving incident, or other types of fatal situations are a harsh reality. Sacrificing one holiday season to be able to celebrate a lifetime more could save lives.


One barrier that is difficult for people struggling with addiction is logistics. These logistics could be related to work, getting to treatment, and finances. While these are difficult to overcome in some cases, they are not impossible and, luckily, the holiday season is the easiest time of year to work out these various logistics to get help.

Time Off Work

Employers are generally more generous around the holiday season with giving time off. Most people are traveling and enjoying the holidays, which causes the productivity of many businesses to slow around this time of year. As such, employers are more willing to give extended periods of time off, especially for treatment.

In addition, schools are closed for a few weeks, which allows for plenty of time for an individual to begin addiction treatment after the end of a semester. This way, they will be able to start fresh with a new semester when they are ready after treatment and not have to redo any work they have already completed.

Greater Access to Treatment

Many individuals avoid getting the help they need during this time of year. Consequently, treatment centers have better availability. Many individuals who choose the right treatment center for themselves may have to wait for availability or choose a different center due to full capacity and high demand. However, around the holidays, this tends to be less of an issue.

Insurance Coverage

Another of the many barriers to recovery at any time of the year is paying for treatment. Most people who enter treatment pay through insurance and, in many instances, insurance companies may offer better coverage at the end of the year. This is due to deductibles already being met, FHA and HSA accounts needing to be used before they are lost, and rates possibly going up in the new year. Our admissions specialists are experts in negotiating with insurance companies and are available 24 hours a day for a confidential conversation about your coverage.

The Greatest Gift You Can Give

Generally, the individual suffering from addiction is the last one to do something about it. Family members may have already tried to talk to the individual about their use, or even tried to convince them to go to treatment, to no avail. Family members may be worried that they might experience the following:

  • Volatile situations at celebrations
  • Arguments and physically abusive situations
  • Embarrassing actions
  • Negative impacts on children
  • Overly intoxicated in front of loved ones
  • Possible overdose during the holidays
  • Ruining the holidays

While it may seem like wanting to spend quality time with family is one of the holiday barriers to recovery, it shouldn’t be. Instead of putting the family through another day of worrying about addiction and its consequences, give them the best possible gift of a lifetime of recovery.

There Are More Barriers

The truth is, there will always be a barrier to recovery. The holidays simply offer more opportunities for excuses and “buying time” before finally going to treatment. Whether it is an upcoming birthday, another important date, deadline at work, a big school project, or another type of logistic, individuals suffering from addiction will often look for barrier to hide behind.

That is why the best time to go to treatment is always the same — and that time is right now.

About Cliffside Malibu

If you or your loved one is ready to get treatment for addiction, there is no better time than right now. The holiday barriers to recovery may seem difficult to overcome, but the payoff and reward will be that much greater. It is time to build new traditions, repair relationships with family, and avoid the great risk of relapse and addiction during the holidays by beginning treatment now.

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 cliffsidemalibu.com