Detox for the Holidays

christmas decorations

During the holidays, the likelihood of alcohol and drug abuse in social situations is much higher and the number of drug and alcohol overdoses increases dramatically.1,2 Although there are many positive things about the season’s celebrations and activities, it can also be a very difficult time for some people. Excessive drinking is often portrayed as the norm and the nature of many American holiday traditions can make it difficult for people in recovery to stay sober.

If you’re struggling to stay sober this holiday season, going to treatment may be the last thing you want to do. Detox and rehab can be physically and emotionally challenging, and being stuck in a treatment facility on Christmas and New Year’s may not be your idea of fun. However, choosing detox for the holidays comes with several great benefits with lasting, life-changing benefits that are well worth it.

Choosing Drug and Alcohol Detox Instead of the Holiday Festivities

It’s easy to avoid treatment and keep pushing it off until after the holidays are over. However, this is a dangerous idea that only leaves more opportunities for your substance abuse to cause additional harm to yourself or others. If the goal is to reduce and ultimately end the damage caused by your addiction, why not start now?

Choosing drug and alcohol detox instead of spending the holidays with friends or family members is difficult, but the long-term benefits far outweigh any temporary sadness or feelings of missing out. After all, wouldn’t you rather own up to your behavior and start changing instead of embarrassing yourself at another Christmas celebration with family? Or, maybe it’s been a while and you’d like to be invited to one of those again? Going to detox and rehab is a great way to turn over a new leaf and start fresh.

Everyone’s situation is different, but here are some indications that you might need to spend the holidays in detox instead of at home:

  • You’re struggling to stay sober.
  • You are tired of being addicted and you’re ready to make a change.
  • Your family members are urging you to go to treatment.
  • You’ve been to treatment before but need to detox and refocus on your sobriety.

The Benefits of Drug and Alcohol Detox During the Holidays

Medical detox for drug and alcohol addiction is an excellent first step to addiction recovery at any time of the year, but choosing to go to detox during the holidays has some unique benefits of its own.

  • Safe and effective detox: Quitting cold turkey may seem like an ideal solution, but it can ultimately result in more severe and long-lasting withdrawal symptoms which may also increase the likelihood that you will relapse. Medical drug detox programs provide safe and effective treatment to help you get sober without enduring extremely painful or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Medical professionals are on-site to administer medication that will reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and clinical treatment is also provided to address the psychological side effects of detox, such as anxiety or depression.
  • A fresh start to a new year: Going to detox during the holidays is ideal timing because it gives you the chance to start 2020 off right. Heading into a new year with a clean slate and a clear mind is a great way to start making some positive changes in your life. Detox is just the start, but it’s an important step to take and it will serve as the foundation of your recovery journey.
  • Support and community: Many people who are addicted spend the holidays alone because friends and family members have all given up hope that they will ever get sober. If this is the case for you, there is still hope. While you’re in detox, you’ll be supported by a compassionate team of professionals and an understanding group of peers who are working to change and, ultimately, are fighting hard to save their own lives, just like you. Detox is an opportunity to heal, learn, and grow alongside others in recovery as you discover the value of having a supportive community.
  • Emotional and spiritual discovery: Drug and alcohol detox is a highly physical process, but it can also be emotional and spiritual for some. Once the cloudiness has cleared from your mind and body, you may begin to realize that the holidays aren’t defined by any certain activities or gifts. They aren’t about binging on drugs and alcohol, and they aren’t about running away from your past either. Instead, this time of year is all about togetherness, serving others, and an internal sense of peace and joy that can’t be found in material items.
  • Social activities: During detox, if you feel well enough to participate in social activities, clients typically get together and enjoy games, a meal, and good discussion, so you won’t feel alone on Christmas or New Year’s Eve after all. In fact, it’s a great opportunity to share your story, listen to others talk about their own experiences with addiction, relax, and start building sober friendships with activities that don’t involve drugs or alcohol.

Change Your Life This Holiday Season

Spending the holidays in detox instead of at home may be a difficult decision, but it’s an admirable and brave choice that will be the start of your brand new beginning. Give yourself and your family the best gift possible this holiday season by investing in your health and your future. Call (888) 857-0557 today to learn more about medical detox at Briarwood Detox Center. We are open year-round and can start the intake process right away.


  1. http://baltimoretimes-online.com/news/2016/dec/23/incidence-overdose-increases-during-holiday-season/
  2. https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/sponsor-story/kaiser-permanente/2015/12/03/alcohol-consumption-increases-during-holidays/76744200/

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