The Holidays Are Over, Now There Is No Excuse

Couple talking

Many people hold off going to treatment in November and December because of the holiday season. They rationalize putting off getting help by telling themselves that they do not want to miss out on family time and special moments. While this may be partially true, in all honestly, it is usually just a way to continue using and put off going to treatment. But, now that the holiday season has drawn to a close, there are no more excuses not to get help for an addiction.

The start of a new year is a great time for someone to finally get professional help for an addiction. Many people feel motivated by the sense of renewal that comes with the changing of the calendar. The task of finding the right treatment program for yourself or a loved one may seem a little daunting at first, so here are some tips to help with the process.

Research treatment options.

There are a lot of treatment options for addiction available these days. It is important to find a facility that focuses on treating the whole person, not just their addiction. Be leery of any facility that promises a “quick 28-day fix” to addiction. This is an issue that requires a lot of hard work to overcome, and there is no such thing as an easy way out that will be sustainable. A good quality program will focus on addressing the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the addiction and provide some form of follow up care upon completion.

Find a program that focuses on results, not length of stay.

There are many treatment programs out there that are focused more on the length of a person’s stay than the quality of the time spent in treatment. In reality, 28 days is simply not enough time to treat an addiction. According to a 20-year study conducted by the National Drug Abuse Reporting Program and Follow-up Outcomes (DARP), people who stayed in treatment, longer had reduced recidivism rates and greater success. Studies have also shown that it is also not just the length of time that someone remains abstinent that is important but also the quality of treatment that one receives as well. This can be made evident by the rates of people who relapse upon release from long periods of incarceration.

Learning how to develop new life skills is essential.

Living a life of recovery is about more than just not drinking or using drugs. It requires a person to develop new coping mechanisms and life skills to maintain sobriety. Stopping use is not the end-all, it is actually just the first step. If a person wants to stay sober they will need to learn new life skills in order to do so. This is why it is important to find a program that offers tools to help a person not only stay sober, but to be successful while doing so.

When in doubt, speak with a professional.

The best thing that can be done when considering a treatment program is to call and speak with the facility. The reason this is so important is that it will provide you the opportunity to ask any questions you might have, seek advice and really figure out what will be the best fit for your situation. If you are able to take a tour of the facility, this is an even better option as it will provide you with the opportunity to see things first hand for yourself.

If you or a loved one have been on the fence about going to treatment, then it is time to reach out for help. While there will never be a “perfect time” when it comes to addiction treatment, the best time will always be sooner rather than later. The holidays are over, so now there is no excuse.




After overcoming her own addiction in 2012 Julie went on to become certified as an addiction counselor in order to help others achieve a life of recovery. She worked in the addiction field for 8 years and now uses both her personal and professional experiences with addiction as an influence for her writing.