Spending the Holidays in Addiction Treatment

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Most people struggling with addiction choose to delay seeking life-saving treatment during the holidays. The reasons vary, but often the delay in getting help for substance abuse is primarily due to fear of missing out on family traditions, parties, and other celebrations tied to Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

However, many addiction treatment centers take great effort to ensure the holidays are festive for the patients in their care. At Valley Hope Addiction Treatment and Recovery, each location celebrates the holidays with patients, making the season a special time for those willing to give the gift of recovery to themselves and their loved ones.  Many of the basic Christmas traditions are observed to help patients feel part of the season even if they are briefly away from family and friends.

Valley Hope appreciates, recognizes, and celebrates the courage and willingness it takes to seek treatment during the holidays. The atmosphere and physical environment at each treatment center is intentionally festive with holiday décor and other local traditions. Valley Hope involves family in both individual and family group therapy sessions, ensuring time with the family during the holiday season.

Celebrating the Holidays in Addiction Rehab

Caroling, baking cookies, gifts, beautiful lights, and Christmas trees! Recently, team members shared the many unique ways that the Christmas holiday season is celebrated at Valley Hope addiction treatment centers:

“We decorate the outpatient office almost to the point of feeling that the holidays are inescapable, – but in a good way! The counselors here have the patients write three holiday cards to three different people that have played a big role in their recovery for the past year, to let those people know that we appreciate their loyalty and their love as well as their vital roles in recovery. It’s a beautiful thing to experience!”

“My first Christmas at Valley Hope as a counselor I remember the patient group was just not into the holiday spirit. We had a large group, and this brought out all kinds of feelings and emotions around missing out on family during this time of year. The group decided they needed something fun to keep them engaged, so they held a Christmas play for the staff that was so funny and a learning experience for staff and patients. The play and the large group allowed the patients to connect with each other and to not feel alone.” 

“I had a patient who was going to leave treatment early because he just knew his family would miss him so much. His family came to a family session and made it clear they would be fine and even happier this year with him in treatment where he was safe and sober. It was not an easy thing to hear or be a part of but it did bring the family closer and allowed the healing process to start.”

“The patients practiced singing Christmas songs and went caroling at a local retirement home. The elderly residents at the retirement home were overjoyed with the gesture of the patient group. The patient group bonded and recognized the benefits of recovery in changing their own life, but also realized the impact sobriety can make in their family and community.”

“We make the holidays like home for our patients with family traditions such as a hot cocoa bar, unwrapping gifts, gratitude meetings, and a very special meal.”

“During the holiday season, our staff serve and share meals with our patients, we bring small gifts for patients, stuff patient stockings, make Christmas cards, and even sing Christmas carols together.”

“In addition to extensive decorations across the inside and outside of our campus, we have an annual tradition called “Christmas Recovery Gnomes,” a patient-favorite activity, plus wonderful turkey and prime rib dinners with all of the fixings.”

Each Valley Hope residential and outpatient facility makes the holidays a special time for each of our patients, to care for those who are missing family and dealing with the aftermath of what brought them to our doors. 

The Recovery Impact of Spending the Holidays in Addiction Treatment

There is still joy for patients to experience in rehab during the holidays. However, the holidays can also be challenging for addiction patients in residential treatment. Valley Hope staff and patient groups are incredibly influential in the treatment experience for a patient, and throughout the holiday season patients offer extra love and support to one another.

Change is difficult, any time of the year, but fortunately change from addiction into recovery is also very rewarding. The gift of treatment and recovery has countless benefits but being away from family while getting help during the holidays shouldn’t stop you from seeking a life in recovery.

Although reflecting on past years and how addiction has played a role in the outcome of the holidays can be difficult, Valley Hope always provides a safe and comfortable environment for patients to heal and rebuild. Doing this while part of a community, relating to others who have had difficult times at Christmas, is part of a true recovery journey.

How to Get Holiday Help for Addiction

If you know you need help, don’t wait until after the holidays to give yourself and your loved ones the gift of recovery. Your family wants you to get help now, not tomorrow. The disease of addiction has built-in anxiety and trauma that directly impacts your family and loved ones during the holidays.

Imagine how sobriety could improve — and save — your life. Delaying treatment for drug and alcohol addiction can be deadly. The holidays are full of opportunities to over-indulge in alcohol and other substances. Death rates from substance abuse tick up significantly during November and December. This is a dangerous playground for people suffering with an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Don’t risk another day of active addiction. Get help now, because the stakes grow higher as each day passes.

Entering rehab during the holidays sets you up to enter the New Year healthy in recovery, plus treatment at the end of the calendar year can be more cost-effective. If you have health insurance, your deductible starts over in January. For people who have met their deductible, entering treatment before January 1 can result in significant savings.

Beyond a combination of festivities and focused clinical approaches that are mindful of the challenges the season adds, it is essential for every patient who has the courage to seek help during the holidays to understand that recovery is possible and the greatest gift that they can give to themselves and their family … is the gift of recovery.

Valley Hope provides a full continuum of substance abuse treatment through 14 programs across six states including Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. Our programs provide compassionate, evidenced-based therapies, medical detox services, residential treatment, outpatient treatment and virtual treatment programs.

For immediate help 24/7, call our Local Admissions Team at (800) 544-5101.