addicted relative holidays

Noticing Symptoms of Addiction During the Holidays

It can be very disheartening to realize that a relative is battling a substance use disorder. The person you once knew so well may act very differently from what you’re used to, leaving you very concerned about their future and health. An addicted relative can wreak havoc on themselves and those around them, and it’s tough to watch them struggle.

While you may worry about spending the holidays with a family member who has an addiction, it’s a valuable opportunity to get them to seek help. During the holiday season, families often spend more time together. You can lean on your close and extended relatives to encourage your loved one to get the help they need so badly.

If you’ve noticed the signs of addiction in your loved one, you need to take action quickly to prevent the situation from worsening.

Signs of Addiction

Signs of addiction can vary depending on the type of substance your loved one regularly uses. As an example, alcohol is one of the most common depressants: a category that includes opiates, sedatives, and prescription medications. Individuals who are dependent on these substances may show the following symptoms:

  • Difficulties with work or school, including being late or needing an excessive amount of time off
  • Lack of energy and motivation
  • Hiding their amount of alcohol intake
  • Spending lots of money on alcohol to drink at home or in bars
  • Failing to take care of their appearance
  • Engaging in risky behaviors while intoxicated
  • Inability to stop using alcohol, even when faced with severe consequences
  • Problems interacting with people, like becoming overly angry or being unable to concentrate on the conversation

If you see any of the above symptoms in a loved one over the holidays and know they regularly use a substance, staging an intervention can help.

Holding an Intervention for an Addicted Relative

Interventions encourage people who suffer from an addiction to seek treatment. There are several different types of interventions, but all involve talking with the person to help them understand how their actions hurt themselves and those around them. 

Generally, an intervention starts with lots of planning. People who will participate in the intervention meet to discuss an appropriate time for the discussion and what they plan to say. Ideally, the time and place chosen will have a high chance of the person being receptive to the ideas of the intervention; they will not be under the influence. 

Practicing for the intervention can help put people at ease before the event. If you have family planning to visit for the holidays, involve them in the preparation. Encourage them to share their thoughts about how the individual’s behavior impacted them.

The purpose of the intervention isn’t to tear down the person suffering; instead, an intervention provides objective and genuine insight into the concerns family members and friends have. Following a successful intervention, the addicted relative should go into immediate treatment.

Whitman Recovery Service Can Help

Since 1984, Rich Whitman, founder of Whitman Recovery Service, has helped thousands of individuals and families perform interventions with addicted loved ones. If you have a loved one who needs encouragement to get treatment, we can help. Contact Whitman Recovery Service to get started today.