Can I Go Home for Christmas While in Rehab?

Categories: Life in Recovery, Relapse and Recovery

Christmas is around the corner and one popular question for recovering addicts is the possibility of going outside their treatment center to spend time with their loved ones. Many people think that this is an obvious “yes” but you’d be surprised to know that unless you are at the very late stage of your recovery, going home for the holiday season may not be recommended for you.

There are different pros and cons that this situation may bring so it is important to speak with your professional support team on whether you’re ready to face the outside world.

Can I go home for Christmas while in the middle of my treatment?

Many treatment programs are designed to be a step-by-step process that will carefully lead you towards recovery. It is often essential for you to immerse yourself in the experience and give your full attention to the program.

Going home for Christmas when you’re not completely ready and recovered may disrupt this process and you may lose all the gains you have achieved. Holidays or not, it is not uncommon for rehab patients to get off-track whenever they go outside without supervision. The sudden feeling of freedom can be tempting and if you are not strong enough, the tendency to relapse is high.

If you find yourself in the middle of treatment during the holidays, most rehab facilities do not recommend that you go home. This is because the number one priority is for your overall health and well-being. If going home for the holidays will distract you from recovery, then it is often recommended that you stay in.

How is Christmas in rehab celebrated?

Many rehab facilities celebrate the holiday season with the same festive spirit but without the triggers like alcohol or excessive food. There will also be Christmas decors, parties and gift giving. The difference is, you will be surrounded by people who are in the same situation as yourself – people who want to be clean and sober. Having a professional support team on hand will also make it easier for you to get through the season without relapsing.

Most rehab facilities will still continue with their regular daily activities like the group sessions. The routine can help you feel at ease so you won’t feel isolated or alone during this sensitive and emotional time.

Can my family visit me in rehab on Christmas?

Every rehab facility would have their own rules but most treat Christmas day as visiting day. This means family can visit you during the holiday season. Receiving a visit may be beneficial as this can encourage the family to be involved in the recovery process.

However, for some patients, a visiting family member may only trigger feelings of anger, hurt and blame. This is the reason why these visits may often need to be approved by the treatment professional first, especially if the patient is very early into the program.

In other words, visitation during Christmas is determined on a case by case basis.

What are the pros and cons of going home for Christmas while in rehab?

If you are already late in to your treatment program, spending the holidays outside rehab may be advantageous. This may help you start integrating yourself back into your family and spending this special time of the year may just be the inspiration you need to stay clean and sober. This may also recharge your motivation and encourage you to do better when you’re back in the facility to finish your treatment.

However, you must be aware that the holiday season presents so many temptations and distractions. Alcohol and excessive partying are always front and center which may make it hard for you to keep yourself on track.  It’s also an emotional time where you often reconnect with family and old friends, not knowing who will support you or judge you. These are all potential triggers that may cause your relapse. To survive this period, you may need to employ several tips on how to keep yourself away from triggers.

By going home for Christmas when while in treatment, you may only be putting yourself under so much pressure and stress. You will need to deal with several situations that you are not yet ready for.

The holiday season can be a difficult and emotional time for a person struggling with alcohol or drug addiction. If you or a loved one is in this critical situation, please know that help is available today. Contact Anaheim Lighthouse learn more about our specialized modes of treatment that can help.  

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