Should I Wait to Do an Intervention Until After the Holidays?

Woman is thinking about intervention during holidays

Whether you are ready for it or not, the holiday season is upon us. For most people, this signals a time of joy and a chance to get together with family. However, for others, the holidays represent a lot of stress navigating less than ideal financial or family situations. Either way, there is one thing sure to make the holiday season more stressful, having a loved one dealing with an addiction.

Often, a family will feel like they need to hold off on any intervention until after the holidays are over. They fear that they will ruin the holiday season if they bring up the “elephant in the room.” They are worried about potential backlash or that their loved one will no longer wish to speak with them. While these things are valid concerns, they are not a good enough reason to hold off on intervention when a person’s addiction indicates that one is needed.

Sometimes people forget that addiction can be a life and death situation. With the way things are going with street drugs these days, people never really know what they are buying. They may think it is one thing and later find out it has been laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is a primary reason there has been such an increase in overdoses over the past few years. Many people think they are buying pharmaceutical drugs when, in reality, they are buying counterfeit medicines that have been mixed with fentanyl. Because the risks of drug use are so high, it is never a good idea to hold off on getting treatment.

It is much easier for someone to sit behind a computer screen and type about the importance of confronting the problem head-on than actually doing it themselves. Interventions are emotional roller coasters, and you never know for sure how they will play out. But one thing is sure, if you hold an intervention and it doesn’t succeed, you will at least know that you did everything you could to try and make things better. There is also the chance that the intervention will plant a seed for change that may grow later on down the road.

If you are on the fence about whether or not you should do an intervention before or after the holidays, here are just a few reasons why it is always better to do one sooner rather than later.

Ambulance in winter

The risk of overdose is too significant.

The longer a person uses street drugs, the higher their risk for overdose. While a person’s tolerance will go up the longer they use drugs, they never know what they are using when they buy pills off the street. There is no code among drug dealers that says they will only sell safe drugs; part of that is because there isn’t such a thing as a “safe drug.” When a person is selling drugs, they are usually more concerned with profit margins than their customer’s safety. Because a person never knows what is in their drugs or how potent they may be, there is always a risk of overdose, which increases every time they use them.

Your loved ones will be safer in treatment than they would be at home using drugs.

For any person addicted to drugs or alcohol, they are usually much safer in an environment that is conducive to healing than they would be in an environment where they can continue using drugs. A primary purpose of a residential treatment facility is to assist a person in getting sober. Getting sober can be a difficult task, and it would be even more challenging when done in an environment with easy access to drugs and alcohol. One of the many reasons people tend to have more success getting sober when they go to rehab rather than staying at home is the opportunity to concentrate on their problems in a safe environment.

Mother with daughter, less stressful

The holidays will probably be less stressful.

While it may not seem like it at first, the holiday season will probably be a lot less stressful if your loved one is in treatment getting sober than it would be if they were at home getting high. At least if they were in treatment, you wouldn’t have to worry about them overdosing or showing up to the family get-together under the influence. Of course, there may be some pushback and initial resentments from your loved one about being in treatment over the holidays, but this is a far better choice than the alternative of them catching a legal charge or overdosing.

There is always next year, unless there’s not.

One of the great things about the holiday season is that it comes around every year. So while your loved one may have to miss out on Christmas or Thanksgiving this year because they are in treatment, they will be able to make up for it next year. On the other hand, if your loved one does not address their addiction problem, their chances of not being around for next year’s holidays increase. One holiday season spent in rehab is better than another holiday season spent in jail, or worse.

You will know you did everything you could.

Addiction is a terrible situation because it makes people feel like they have no control over it. From the outside looking in, the solution seems so simple, but anyone who has seen the reality of addiction will understand that things are a lot more complicated. Families often wish that they could help their loved ones see things the way they do so that their loved ones would stop self-sabotaging their life. But sadly, we cannot force anyone to see anything they are not willing to see. Sometimes the best thing that a person can do for their peace of mind is to know that they did everything they could to help their loved one get better. It will be up to the individual with the addiction whether or not they seek help, but the worst thing a person can do for someone who has an addiction is to enable them to continue it. By doing an intervention, you will at least know that you did everything you could to try and help your loved one get better; at that point, the rest is on them.

Waving from a car

While the holiday season may not feel like the best time of year to send a loved one off to rehab, the truth of the matter is that addiction will always be something that is best dealt with right away. There is never a good enough reason for a person to hold off on getting treatment. This is a problem that will only continue to get worse the longer it is permitted to continue.

Addiction is a situation that gets progressively worse the longer it goes on. Once a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, their best bet for success is to go to a quality residential treatment program to help them address their issues. The best time to do an intervention on a loved one will always be as soon as possible.



After overcoming her own addiction in 2012 Julie went on to become certified as an addiction counselor in order to help others achieve a life of recovery. She worked in the addiction field for 8 years and now uses both her personal and professional experiences with addiction as an influence for her writing.