From Conflict to Connection at Christmas Time
Although holidays and Christmas are usually associated with family togetherness and joy, it’s also very common to experience heightened stress and anxiety at this time for various reasons.
The holidays can be particularly challenging for those in active addiction, especially if they have not yet started the journey towards recovery. Being caught in the grip of addiction is not only stressful for the individual, but for the family too, as there is usually a knock-on effect in family relationships. This is one reason that addiction is often labelled a “disease of the family”, rather than just the individual in addiction.
Addictive behaviours can trigger family conflicts as the greater family struggles with how to appropriately set boundaries with their loved ones and their using. For individuals in addiction, going home for the holidays can be especially triggering, especially if their substance use started or occurred in the family home. Often, reliving past memories can trigger addictive behaviours or relapse. Unintentional family enabling can also push someone further into addiction.
Statistics from the Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research in the USA suggest that alcohol and drug consumption in the holidays is markedly increased, as are deaths related to alcohol and drug use.
If someone is struggling with active addiction, they may have difficulty connecting with their family, despite their internal desire to want to belong. They may be hard to reason with and their behaviours, hard to manage functionally.
Given that the holidays can heighten the stress of a substance using lifestyle, it’s a time that may propel your loved one into seeking treatment for their condition. Attending rehab at this time of year can reap great benefits for both the affected person and their family.
Rehab at Hader Clinic Queensland encompasses elements of medical, psychosocial, and educational treatment that allows an individual space to understand that their addiction is a disease, and that, with the right tools and support, recovery is possible.
The gift of recovery for both families and individuals promises the opposite of addiction, connection. When an individual in recovery is supported by, and connected to, others, the urge to use as a means of coping is usually diminished.
When an individual and their family goes to rehab, the tools that they both learn to manage during recovery promotes confidence in relationships and reduces conflict as both learn how to work through their issues in a constructive way.
Rehab is the Christmas gift that keeps giving, because there is no expiry date on the tools and strategies provided to support recovery. Rehab during the Christmas period can give a vulnerable individual the tools, support and friendship that is needed to take those first wobbly steps towards healing.
If you are experiencing issues with substance addiction and your family situation has been particularly inflammatory, rehab can give you a safe space to decompress, recalibrate and take the steps forward that you need to heal.
If you have a loved one in addiction and are not sure what to say, you can reaffirm that you love them, but cannot support their addictive behaviour, thereby separating the disease from the individual.
Hader Clinic Queensland offers private hospital detox and a comprehensive rehab program to help individuals with addiction and associated mental health issues recover safely and effectively based on latest research.
Queensland’s only private rehab centre with ACHS accreditation
We are proud to be the only private drug and alcohol addiction treatment centre in Queensland to be independantly accredited.