By August 27, 2012 0 Comments

The Family Holiday Secret

As families and friends gather together for the holidays it becomes difficult to avoid the fact that a loved one may have a substance abuse problem. This loved one may attend the holiday gathering and show obvious signs of addiction. You may think to yourself, “I will be glad when they leave”, or “it is only a couple of days that I have to put up with this”.  Possibly, the loved one may be conspicuously absent, for reasons that everyone knows but no one dares to discuss.  During the holidays is when most families choose to ignore the issue rather than face it. You also have the addict during this time of year saying, “it’s the holidays, I am just having fun” or they “blend in” with other individuals who are attending the festivities.

I understand that you would rather just get through the holiday and talk about it later. But talking about it never comes and the addict will just get worse. The denial often leads to increased drug and alcohol use by the addicted individual, with sometimes tragic consequences. Research has shown that cases of depression, suicide, domestic violence, and drunk driving accidents all increase during the holidays. The holidays are a stressful time even for healthy individuals. Addicts, who are usually dealing with some form of emotional problem, are extremely susceptible during this season.

Although the addict may have harmed the trust of family and friends; however, it is important to remember that addiction is a symptom of something else. No one wants to be an addict, and most people have reached a point of desperation in coping with life. During the holidays, most addicts are gripped with shame and loneliness because they are even more aware than ever that their addictive behavior creates an emotional wall between them and the people they care about the most.

With the holidays increasing the danger of depression and other negative outcomes, the holidays may be a great time to reach out to a loved one who is struggling with substance abuse. Address the ‘secret” that everyone knows and yet NO ONE talks about. Don’t use the excuse of not wanting to cause an unpleasant holiday experience for everyone because at one point or another, it WILL BE DISCUSSED. It will either be at the hospital because the addict overdosed, or possibly at a court hearing because the addict was arrested for driving while under the influence, or maybe at a prison visitation, or worse, it may be discussed at the addict’s funeral. Just don’t let the discussion start with, “I wish I would have talked about it at Thanksgiving last year before…”

When is the best time to talk about it? Now! When all of the family is together and can give the best gift ever! Give the greatest gift an addict can receive: Treatment. How better to show love inside the family unit than give the gift of recovery?.

Recovery is a gift the whole family can enjoy.

Posted in: Family

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HEALing sea turtle, LLC and its staff do not provide Medical Treatment and are not Medical Doctors, Counselors, or a Treatment / Recovery Center. HEALing sea turtle, LLC is a Drug and Alcohol Intervention and Consulting Firm, and its advice does not replace the advice of Medical Professionals, Counselors, or Treatment / Recovery Centers.