Getting Sober Over the Holidays
8 Reasons to Give Up Drugs & Alcohol

The holiday season can be an emotionally trying time, no matter who you are. Between the financial strain of gift-giving, the stress of balancing work and travel and the pressure to spend time with family, most people find themselves emotionally depleted before Christmas rolls around. This time of year is also an especially difficult time to stay sober. Sober holidays might sound entirely insurmountable. In fact, many of us concede to getting sober at the beginning of the year, figuring that a simple resolution will suffice. Until then, we continue to drink and drug as a way to combat holiday-induced stress and emotional fatigue. We might feel particularly strong in our convictions on January 1, ready to give up the booze, start exercising and eating better, and waking up at 6 a.m. every morning ready to take on the day.

We all know what happens next, don’t we? The motivation slowly starts to dwindle, and before long we find ourselves right back where we started. Even though the stress of the holiday season has come and gone, our unhealthy coping mechanisms remain. Some of us might start toeing the line between trying to cope and coming to rely on drugs and alcohol just to make it through the day. Addiction is a tricky condition. It is both progressive and individualized, meaning some people will develop a physical and psychological dependency rather rapidly while others can use substances with impunity for years. If you believe you have been struggling with a substance use issue, you might be tempted to wait until New Years Eve rolls around to finally give up your substance of choice.

The truth is, getting sober sooner — before the end of the season — is always a good idea.

If you have been struggling with a substance use disorder, Guardian Recovery Network is available to help. No matter how mild or severe your substance use is, we undeniably offer a level of clinical care which will meet all of your personal needs. Don’t wait to give yourself and your loved ones the gift of addiction recovery. Call us today to get started.

8 Reasons to Get Sober this Holiday Season

Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? Well, when it comes to addiction, procrastination isn’t a luxury many of us have. However, it is still a liberty many of us take. But prolonging the inevitable will only lead to more hurt and heartache than is necessary. We have compiled a list of 8 great reasons to get sober this holiday season. Of course, your personal reasons will vary depending on who you are and what you have been through.

#1. Addiction is a Progressive Condition.

Addiction is a progressive condition, meaning associated symptoms will only get worse the longer they are left untreated. Addiction is also a chronic condition, meaning it can be effectively treated but never entirely cured. What does all of this mean? In so many words, it means once you have developed a substance use disorder it will become extremely difficult to overcome the condition on your own, and the longer you wait to seek treatment, the more devastating the consequences of your addiction will become.

#2. Substance Use Rates Spike Around the Holidays.

The cut and dry truth of the matter is this — people tend to wait until the holiday season is over to get sober. They might have a number of personal reasons. They have family coming to visit who they haven’t seen in years, spiked eggnog is their favorite drink of all time, drinking excessively is simply part of a long-standing family tradition. Substance use rates spike around the holiday season, predominantly because this is such a stressful time of year for so many. A recent study conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness found that 64 percent of people with a mental illness (including substance use issues) reported the holiday season made the symptoms of their illness worse. Give yourself a break this year!

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#3. You Will Be Giving Your Loved Ones the Best Gift of All, the Gift of Your Sobriety.

Do your loved ones really want a fruit basket or another bundle of socks? No. They want to see you healthy and happy — once again living up to your full potential. You might think the gift of your presence is the most important gift you can give to your loved ones. If you decide to seek treatment before Christmas, you might be concerned about missing out on your traditional family holiday. Maybe your plane ticket home has already been purchased. Maybe your parents have expressed how excited they are to see you, or you haven’t seen your cousin in years. It is generally easy for those who are in the grips of addiction to think of 100 reasons why not to get sober. Shift your thought process. Rather than focus on the reasons why you should wait, try making a list of the reasons why you should get sober right now.

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Think about it this way… how present will you really be during your vacation home? Wouldn’t your loved ones rather see you commit to a journey of self-betterment than see your drunk or high again?

Getting sober this holiday season

#4. You’ll Save Yourself a Lot of Holiday Stress.

If you commit to a multi-staged program of recovery, including a short stay in an inpatient detox center followed by a longer stay in a residential rehab, you will be giving yourself the “vacation” of a lifetime. Sure, undergoing addiction treatment takes a lot of courage and is pretty intensive mental, emotional and spiritual work, but if you choose a homestyle retreat treatment center in an idyllic location like South Florida, you are giving yourself the opportunity to heal while taking a much-needed break. Save yourself on the seemingly unavoidable holiday stress by seeking professional treatment sooner rather than later.

#5. New Year, New You… But For Real This Time.

If you commit to addiction recovery now, you will be in a much better position once the New Year rolls around. Let’s face it, the past couple of years haven’t been a cake walk for any of us. We’ve had to adjust to a bunch of really bizarre circumstances, and even those of us who are particularly well-adjusted and eternally optimistic have faced some significant challenges. If you make the decision to commit to recovery now, you will have developed the life skills and coping mechanisms needed to maintain sobriety by the start of the New Year.

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#6. There is No Better Time to Get Sober than Right Now.

Getting sober is the ultimate catalyst for change. Once you stop drinking or using drugs you open the door to a range of other positive lifestyle choices, from seeking outside help for your mental health to eating better and sleeping through the night. Your entire outlook on life will begin to shift, and you will find yourself in a completely different place by this time next year. Things aren’t going to get better the longer you wait, guaranteed.

#7. The Longer You Wait, the More Consequences You Will Suffer.

Maybe you have been maintaining your current quality of life and things haven’t hit the fan yet. Maybe you still have a job and a house, and you have managed to stay out of debt and otherwise maintain appearances. The longer you wait to seek help, the more severe related consequences will become. By this time next year you might very well be out of a job and struggling financially. Rather than play with fire until you get burned, try reaching for the extinguisher before your entire life is engulfed in flame.

#8. Life Doesn’t Have to be as Hard as it is Right Now.

If you have been struggling with an addictive disorder of any type or severity, life is — without question — more difficult than it needs to be. You lack the motivation you need to complete day-to-day tasks and fulfill personal obligations. Your interpersonal relationships have become strained and you frequently find yourself in a place of self-loathing and low self-esteem. You might have started to question whether or not you want to continue to fight. It might feel like your problems have become too significant to take on, so rather than address them you continue to sweep them under the rug and numb them out (however temporarily) with drugs and alcohol. Life gets easier. All you have to do is take the initial step.

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    The moment you reach out for help, you will be put in contact with a knowledgeable and experienced Treatment Advisor, who will answer any additional questions you have and get you started with our simple and straightforward admissions process. The majority of our Treatment Advisors have been through the process themselves or have helped a loved one through the process, allowing them a unique and compassionate perspective. During our initial phone call we provide a brief pre-assessment, which helps us determine which level of care is going to be the best fit. We offer a free, no obligation insurance benefit check to those who are currently insured and offer additional coverage options to those who are not. At Guardian Recovery Network one of our main priorities is ensuring effective treatment options remain readily available to those in need. If you have been on the fence about seeking help and you are waiting for the “right time,” the right time is now. There is truly no better time to commit to a program of addiction treatment and begin your own personal journey of substance use recovery. Simply contact us today and we will get you started with our simple and straightforward admissions process.

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    Reviewed for accuracy by our National Director Of Clinical Services:

    Tommy McGee
    LMHC, CAP


    Tommy has more than 16 years of experience in the mental health and addictions field working in supportive, clinical and administrative roles. He has experience working with clients from various ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. He has worked with clients with co-occurring disorders, both adult and adolescent persons, Native American groups, and in programs with a focus on treating clients of ultra high net worth.