The holidays are a time when families look forward to getting together to enjoy the best of the season. This includes celebrating with music, food, and drink.
During this festive time, you may be thinking about the year that has passed, as well as previous holiday seasons. In a number of families, there is someone who overindulges. As you look back, you realize that although most of the other people you know enjoy the holiday treats and “good cheer” that flows at this time of year, your loved one seems to be overdoing it all the time.
As you consider the situation in more detail, you realize that he always seems to have a problem when alcohol is being served. Someone always seems to have to look after your friend or family member when they’ve been drinking, either to stop an argument or to keep him from slipping from being unsteady on his feet.
Your loved one needs help to stop drinking. Should you schedule an intervention during the holidays? Yes, and there are some good reasons why the holiday season shouldn’t be a barrier to seeking help for someone with a substance abuse problem.
Why Scheduling an Intervention During the Holidays Can be Particularly Effective
1. Addiction doesn’t stop when the holiday season starts.
The holidays are a time that people look forward to; however, the season can be stressful, as well. It’s not uncommon for someone with a substance abuse problem with alcohol to drink more during this time of year. They may be attending several social events or have vacation time during the holidays, which allows for more time to consume alcohol.
2. Waiting won’t make the situation any better.
If you’re waiting for the “right” time to approach your loved one about her drinking, there isn’t one. The saying, “There’s no time like the present” applies to scheduling an intervention.
You may have heard the someone with a substance abuse issues needs to “hit rock bottom” or “needs to want help” before an intervention can be successful. Both of these statements are myths. While waiting for someone with an alcohol addiction to hit their personal rock bottom, they may be involved in an auto accident that will injure themselves or someone else, lose their job, or lose their home.
It isn’t likely that your loved one will decide that he wants help to stop drinking, either. Left to his own devices, he will continue to drink and the addiction will become more ingrained and harder to treat.
3. Holidays are a good time to gather family and friends for the intervention.
When you’re putting together the team of people who will be participating in the intervention, ask yourself whether there is anyone who your addicted loved one may hold in particularly high esteem. If so, make a point of asking this relative or childhood friend, who may not have seen your loved one for some time, to attend the intervention. Their memories of your loved one before the addiction took hold and hope for a sober future may help to influence her to make a positive change.
4. The holiday season is a time for gift giving. Through an intervention, your family can help to give the gift of sobriety.
Your loved one didn’t start drinking with the expectation of developing an addiction. No one who picks up a drink ever does.
Most people who have a substance abuse problem need help to stop. Holding an intervention over the holiday season sends a powerful message that your family is not prepared to stand by and let your loved one continue on the same path any longer.
English Mountain Recovery provides long-term residential inpatient alcohol and drug treatment for men and women. Clients receive an individualized treatment plan that includes a traditional 12-Step program and holistic options to heal the mind, body, and spirit.
By Jodee Redmond