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Christmas is a joyful period for many. It’s a time spent with family and loved ones listening to the same Christmas songs and watching the same Christmas films. It brings warmth and comfort during those chilly nights, but for others, familiar events over the festive season can trigger feelings of intense anxiety and fear.
Perhaps you have recently started to come to terms with your substance abuse issues or you realise how much the winter months impact your mood, and subsequently, your drinking or drug habits.
If you’re a loved one of someone suffering from addiction, it’s likely this time of year is stressful for you too. For you, Christmas means walking on eggshells, avoiding confrontation and trying to keep things pleasant.
This is familiar territory for those struggling with addiction, as well as their loved ones, but it doesn’t have to be this way. This may not be the first Christmas you’ve dreaded, but it may be the first time you’ve decided to take action.
This page aims to provide you with the guidance needed to make an informed decision on treatment options during the festive season.
Residential Rehab Isn’t Always Necessary
If you are here because you want to get help with your substance abuse issues, or the thought of facing another Christmas in active addiction fills you with dread, you’re in the right place. You may be considering the option of residential rehab for yourself or a loved one but feel uneasy about being separated, which in turn can lead to further pushback in seeking help.
If you’re not ready to fully commit to a stay in rehab or lack the funds but would like to explore other treatment paths that are less intensive and costly, CATCH Recovery can help!
We offer an alternative for those who would benefit from quality addiction treatment without committing to a residential stay.
Our outpatient programme is a flexible option for anyone looking to explore treatment from the comfort of home. If your substance abuse is mild to moderate in nature, our 24-week programme could be a suitable alternative this Christmas.
Take Control of Your Addiction Today
The Benefits of Starting Treatment Over Christmas
One of the many misconceptions about seeking help is that you need to be sober when you begin. Perfection is never the goal in addiction recovery, but a commitment to change and self-improvement is.
Although it might feel as though you’ll be missing out, this isn’t the case, and seeking addiction treatment during the Christmas season can offer several benefits:
Emotional Support: The festive season often brings family and friends together, providing a strong network of emotional support. This can be particularly beneficial when you begin treatment, as you can lean on loved ones for encouragement and understanding.
Connection: Christmas is a time of social gatherings and communal spirit. Engaging in addiction treatment during this period can help reduce feelings of isolation or loneliness, which are common triggers for substance abuse.
Structured Environment: The holiday season can be chaotic and stressful, which might lead to relapse if you’re already struggling with addiction. Treatment provides a structured and stable environment that can shield you from the pressures and temptations that come with the festivities.
Beginning of a New Year: Look at it this way: Starting treatment during Christmas can symbolise a fresh start and the beginning of a new, healthier lifestyle. This is an empowering and motivating thought, taking you into the new year with positive goals.
Season of Reflection and Renewal: Christmas, being a time for reflection and renewal, can provide a meaningful backdrop for individuals to contemplate their lives and make significant changes. The spirit of the season can inspire hope and a renewed commitment to recovery.
Although there are a whole host of benefits that come with it, there are also quite a few challenges that might be preventing you from seeking help, such as denial, shame and family relationships. If your relationship with your loved one is strained, you may find it difficult to get them to agree to addiction treatment. Below we’ll expand on each of these challenges and how you can overcome them.
Removing Denial (and Shame)
Denial is often one of the biggest challenges in addiction recovery and can manifest in various ways, from complete denial (I don’t need help) to minimising (it’s not that bad). By committing to treatment this Christmas, you are acknowledging to yourself that you do need help and that you’re prepared to take it seriously.
Furthermore, it shows your loved ones that you are acknowledging the issue and taking positive steps towards recovery. Addiction has a widespread impact on other family members, including children.
If you’re trying to get a friend or family member to agree to addiction counselling, you may need additional help in the form of an intervention, which is something we can help with here at CATCH.
There is no shame in seeking help for an illness, especially one as serious as addiction. Taking that first step is a sign of courage and strength and it should be treated as such.
Understand What Makes You Tick
Addiction is a complex illness and while there can be several contributing factors, stress and trauma often play a significant role in keeping you stuck in that cycle of abuse.
People suffering from addiction often use substances to cope with uncomfortable situations.
Using substances will temporarily numb some of those difficult feelings or give you the confidence boost you feel you need. However, this relief is often short-lived and before you know it, you’re left to deal with the consequences of your actions.
If Christmas is a difficult time for you then the more likely you are to drink or abuse drugs to excess. Acknowledging what triggers you is a huge step in overcoming addiction and maintaining sobriety.
Learning to sit with and manage those difficult emotions and the reasons for them is part of the addiction recovery process. Perfection is not the goal here, but reducing the number of conflicts over the festive period is a massive step in the right direction.
Family conflict can play a major role in addiction and is especially amplified during the festive period. However, beginning treatment around the holidays will naturally reduce the family conflict meaning everyone from your children to your pets will feel safer around you. It’s worth noting that statistically, children raised by a parent with substance abuse issues are far more likely to struggle with addiction themselves.
Strengthening the family unit has also been shown to reduce rates of relapse in the future, so making the decision to get help now will reap many benefits. As part of the therapeutic offering at CATCH Recovery, we offer family and couples therapy sessions to help facilitate the healing process.
When is Residential Rehab Necessary?
As a leading provider of addiction treatment, our goal is to find the right treatment option for you and your family. Depending on the circumstances, inpatient rehab might be the best course of treatment. Chronic drinking and drug taking can lead to severe substance abuse can lead to severe dependence which requires a medically supervised detox, this is particularly true for alcohol and benzodiazepine dependence, or those with complex mental health needs.
As part of the service we offer at CATCH, we can arrange a free screening for yourself or a family member prior to any decision being made.
If you’re still struggling with the thought of spending the festive period in rehab it helps to think about it this way: You’re giving up one Christmas so that you can enjoy Christmases for years to come. When put into perspective, this is a small price to pay for the opportunity to live a healthy, happy life free from addiction.
Take the First Step this Christmas
Sometimes making that initial call is the most daunting part of seeking help, but doing so could set you on the right path to recovery this Christmas. Speak to one of our addiction specialists today if you need some reassurance.