Drug & Alcohol Abuse During the Holidays: The Statistics & How to Get Help

It may seem like the new year is the best time to plant the seed of a new life in addiction treatment. However, many people don’t realize that the holiday season is a dangerous time for those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. The statistics show that waiting until the new year to get treatment for yourself or for a loved one could be one of the biggest mistakes that you ever make. In fact, if you wait to get treatment, you might not ever get the chance at all. But, there is hope. Recovery is possible for anyone who wants it. Read on to find out why it’s best to get addiction treatment sooner rather than later.

Overdoses During the Holidays

The holidays are a time for celebration, but they also can be a time of sadness for people suffering from loneliness, grief, depression, and mental health issues. Whether for happy reasons or in the hopes of self-medicating, drug and alcohol abuse rises during the holidays — and so do overdoses.

The company Axial Healthcare did a research study of 100 million individuals — nearly one third of the US population — in order to understand the trend of holiday overdoses. Their data showed that overdose rates rose 22% during the holidays, as compared to overdoses the rest of the year. Importantly, those overdoses were not just street drugs. More than 50% of the overdoses observed were people who had received a prescription for an opioid in the past month.

Drug- and Alcohol-Related Deaths During the Holidays

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) also has studied drug and alcohol abuse trends in the American population, and found that drug- and alcohol-related deaths spike in December and January while the holidays are in full swing. 

Overall, drug deaths continue to rise in the United States, especially post-COVID. According to CDC data, 2021 hit a new record of more than 100,000 overdose deaths nationally, which was an increase of 28.6% over the year before. Opioids and synthetic opioids represented the most overdoses overall. In December 2021 alone, there were nearly 80,000 opioid overdoses — roughly 2580 per day. 

Drunk Driving During the Holidays

It’s not just drugs that pose a danger during the holidays, though. Drunk driving crashes also rise during the month of December, according to data gathered by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). As a result of their efforts, every President since Ronald Reagan has proclaimed December National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

Get Help for Addiction During the Holidays

Don’t let yourself or a loved one become a statistic. Get help for drug addiction today. Call our admissions team to discuss your situation, and learn about the different options for addiction treatment that might be appropriate for you. From the flexible schedules of IOP and PHP to intense residential addiction treatment, there is a type of addiction treatment to fit every person’s needs. In addition, our admissions team can verify your benefits so you can take advantage of your insurance coverage before your deductible restarts on January 1. Make these holidays happy ones thanks to the gift of recovery.

Drug & Alcohol Abuse During the Holidays: The Statistics & How to Get Help