Annual Thanksgiving Dinner for Clients & Families Held at Narconon Arrowhead

a Thanksgiving dinner

Many people who consider getting into rehab so that they can finally quit abusing drugs or alcohol hesitate to do so during the holidays. They don’t want to miss out on everything, or maybe they are concerned about letting their loved ones down by not being there for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Likewise, the family of an addict might sometimes encourage him or her to put rehab off until after the holidays, not wanting to be apart and thinking maybe that the spirit of the season will somehow help to provide a buffer against the problems that come with substance abuse. Fortunately, it doesn’t always have to be an either/or choice. Those who choose Narconon Arrowhead for their rehab program get to spend the holidays with their loved ones, while also making progress on their recovery from addiction during the holidays.

Narconon Arrowhead drug rehab center

This year, the center opened its doors to the loved ones of all students for Thanksgiving dinner, and they enjoyed a traditional feast including turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and more. It gave families a chance to reunite and to celebrate the fact that their loved one was no longer drinking or using drugs and was on the way to recovering from addiction.

Reasons to Get Into Rehab During the Holidays

The fact is that putting rehab off until after the holidays will often prove to be a bad idea. If things have gotten bad enough that you know it’s time to get into treatment, there should not be any delay in doing so. When it’s a question of handling addiction, every day matters, since you never know when the person might get arrested for a drug-related crime, be injured in an accident or even suffer an overdose. There is, in fact, an increased risk of any of these things happening during the holidays. Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve are some of the booziest nights of the year, and they see a sharp increase in car accidents caused by drunk or drugged drivers. The holiday season brings on a host of factors that can push someone with a substance abuse problem to the edge:

  • Money problems become exacerbated by the expectations of buying presents, decorating the house, preparing feasts, hosting guests and more.
  • Family gatherings, office holiday parties, and other events make many people feel pressured to spend time in the company of people they are not comfortable with.
  • As a milestone on the calendar, the holidays serve as a reminder that another year has gone by without quitting and that things have in all likelihood gotten worse.
  • The media creates expectations of the “perfect holidays,” while in reality, few people will actually be able to pull this off, but that does not mean that many do not feel defeated for failing to do so.
  • For too many people, the holidays bring painful reminders of how alone they are, whether their loved ones live in other areas of the country, if they are departed, or if they live in the same town but are estranged by addiction.

With all of these factors combined, many people who are already addicted end up hitting the bottle harder or using more drugs during the holidays. Putting rehab off until January may not be a safe bet. Even if he or she survives the holidays without any serious incident, there is also the risk—even the likelihood—that the person will end up relapsing, falling away from the decision to quit. It becomes something that the person will do later, and the moment has passed. Who knows when it might come again? Don’t wait until after the holidays to get into rehab; Narconon Arrowhead is ready to help, and thanks to their willingness to welcome in the family during the holidays, it is not necessary to choose between recovery and celebrating with those you love.


Karen Hadley

For more than a decade, Karen has been researching and writing about drug trafficking, drug abuse, addiction and recovery. She has also studied and written about policy issues related to drug treatment.