A Whole New Meaning to "Happy Holidays"

The holidays are supposed to be about family, aren’t they? They’re supposed to be about getting together and spending time with the people that you want to spend time with more than anyone else in the world; a chance to let your loved ones know just how loved they are. This is what I used to think, until my daughter’s addiction nearly tore my family apart. They don’t make Christmas cards that say “Merry Christmas, please stop using crystal meth” or “Happy Holidays, best wishes in rehab.” The perverse dysfunction that drug abuse causes within a family is enough to make the holidays absolutely meaningless.

My point is that the holidays alone won’t sustain themselves. They must be fueled by the love and closeness of family in order to remain special. I learned this lesson after making my most serious and determined New Year’s resolution: get intervention for a loved one. It was immediately after my daughter’s addiction-not my daughter, but her addiction-ruined yet another thanksgiving and Christmas holiday. On December 26, 2012, I made the decision to organize an intervention so I could have her in treatment by the start of the year. My husband and I got in touch with an interventionist and chose New Year’s Eve as the date because all of her loved ones would be there.

That night we almost wound up saying goodbye to her forever. She was, at first, furious that we had “ambushed” her with a surprise intervention, but once she saw that we weren’t going to be phased by her indignation, she immediately settled down and listened to what we had to say. Those crucial moments were the make-or-break point of our relationship and I thank God every day that they went the way they did. After hearing me and the rest of her family tell her how much we loved her, she agreed to accept treatment and put her two years of drug abuse behind her.

I must admit that, at first, I was only half expecting her to complete her treatment program. I knew the kind of damage drug addiction did to your brain and your will power, and I expected her to relapse. To date, I’m gratified to report that she has not used drugs since her intervention. I grow prouder by the day of her commitment to herself and to her family, and I make sure to tell her as much every chance I get. If you’re going to support your addicted loved one, you have to make sure you recognize the positives as well as the negatives.

The past two holidays have been everything they should be. As her mother, I will always be a little bit nervous about something causing her to relapse: a bad day, a tragedy, an argument, etc. But so far, she has given me no reason to be anything short of proud. The holidays mean more to me now than they ever have because I have my little girl back, safe and sound. 

Contact the The National Intervention for Drugs and Alcohol anytime toll-free at (800) 567-5986 or through our online form, to start the process of getting your loved one back and finally freeing them from the chains of their addiction before it's too late!