It is not uncommon for people suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism to create barriers to treatment, even if they know they need the help. Even though they are suffering from a chronic, progressive, potentially fatal disease like addiction, people with substance use disorders will often make or use any excuse not to seek help or go to a detox facility or treatment center.

Some of the common excuses used by people to avoid going to treatment are:

  • The job
  • Their kids
  • Their spouse
  • Their pets
  • A big project, either at work or home
  • An upcoming vacation

However, towards the end of each year, many of the excuses or barriers pale in comparison to the one major reason that someone refuses to come to treatment or is looking to delay addiction treatment:


Every year, as the weather turns colder, Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, and the calendar slowly turns to the new year, those afflicted by drug and alcohol addiction become terribly concerned with the importance of the holiday season. Their attendance at holiday family gatherings and their love for these special holidays create an intense and often dangerous barrier to entering treatment and receiving vital and life-saving care.

First, let’s not make light of the holidays. For many people, the holidays are a special time, to be around family and enjoy important annual celebrations with the ones they love. Parents don’t want to miss the holidays with their children, children want their parents around during the holidays, and spouses want their significant other with them during this important time of the year. However, there is also little question that parents and children and spouses who have been dealing with an addicted loved one, often for many years, would want nothing more than their loved one to overcome their addiction and find healing, health, and happiness, and often are more than happy to sacrifice one Thanksgiving, one Christmas, or one New Year’s celebration to make that happen.

Let’s also not forget, for many people dealing in active addiction, while they may hold the holiday season close to their heart, they are most likely forgetting or choosing to ignore the difficulties and pain their addiction has often caused during the holidays in years past. Drunken outbursts, missed family responsibilities, sad and disappointed loved ones- these are but a few of the many things that addiction brings to a family during the holidays. Ruined Christmas’ and impossible-to-remember New Year’s Eve’s are often some of the wreckage a person in active addiction leaves for their family members to remember and cherish at the end of each year.

So, the holiday season is important to everyone, but it’s important to remember that the health and wellness of their loved one is paramount to the family members of a person in active addiction. And while sobriety and freedom from addiction will yield many happy and memorable holidays to come, remaining in active addiction will more than likely steal future holidays away. They often say there is no better time to find sobriety than “NOW”, and while unfortunate as it may be, for many “NOW” occurs during the holiday season.  So rather than ruining one more Christmas, those in active addiction need to walk through fear and seize the opportunity to find healing through detox and treatment for addiction. Don’t delay and cause the family to remember Christmas as the time they lost their loved one to a fatal overdose, or as the annual event where their addicted loved one steals the presents from under the tree.

The holiday season is an important time of year, but in no way is it more important than seeking help and going to detox and rehab. Remember, the greatest Christmas gift you can give your loved ones is your sobriety!

If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorders, please give us a call. Innovo Detox offers the latest in evidence-based medical, psychiatric, and clinical care for those in need of detox and medical stabilization in Pennsylvania and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or a loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a detox, rehab, treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (717) 619-3260 or email our team at For more information on our company or services, please visit our website at