The Holiday Season: A Time for Togetherness or Treatment?
The holiday season is upon us yet again, and it can be a tough time for families dealing with a loved one suffering from alcohol or drug addiction. I’ve been there and lived through it, and I know it’s no picnic.
One of the biggest struggles faced this time of year is what to do about a family member currently in treatment. This is a time when the heart struggles against the head. You know the right thing to do, but have a very hard time doing it. Everyone wants their loved ones at home for the holidays, but is this really the right choice ?
With everyone in the holiday spirit around Christmas and New Year’s Day, parties become the norm. People want to celebrate and have a good time. Alcohol usually flows freely, and not only at formal parties but in homes as well. Surrounded by friends and family toasting each other with good cheer or drinking a glass of the bubbly to bring in the New Year cam create a strong possibility for relapse.
Working with the staff at The Recovery Place, I see families pressing to have their loved ones out of alcohol and drug treatment and home for the holidays. While I know they mean well, I don’t know if they realize how they may be jeopardizing their loved one’s recovery. Taking someone out of a safe environment during this time of year is often asking for trouble.
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve lived through this in my own family. I know that using “tough love” and doing what’s right for the addict is not easy, and arguments that arise can tear families apart. But the “law of unintended consequences”, those unforeseen penalties of one simple choice, can wreak even worse havoc on holiday celebrations.
If your family member is struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction, and he or she is in treatment, support the treatment.
Put their recovery ahead of your desire to bring them home for the holidays. If you think you feel guilty that they’re away while you’re celebrating, imagine how much worse you’ll feel if you bring them home and they relapse.
So think twice this holiday season.
Put the importance of recovery ahead of any temporary doubts you may encounter and remember that the best way to care for an addicted loved one is to show support for the recovery process. Encourage successful recovery by emphasizing the importance of staying in a caring treatment environment like The Recovery Place—you won’t regret it!
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