Will 2017 Be the Year to Change?


For those suffering from addiction or connected to someone who is, holidays are a time when life becomes real. Many addicts go through the motions of daily life while hiding their use and keeping things off the radar… at least for the most part. But what happens when the charade can’t be kept up??

During the holidays, when families get together for gift giving, feasting and making merry, nothing puts a damper on holiday cheer like seeing the tracks on a relative’s arms or watching your favorite uncle drink his 20th beer in three hours.

Confronting a loved one about their drug or alcohol addiction is very difficult whether it’s for the first time, the tenth time or anytime in between. Denial is a powerful thing and whether you don’t want to make waves, upset a loved one, or you just aren’t sure, excuses get made and what needs to be said usually isn't.

Having an addiction is not an easy thing to admit. I understand this better than many. I also know how difficult it was for my family to face what I was doing. I am certain, however, if I did not have my family take a firm stand with me and draw a line in the sand, I would not be alive this holiday season.

Despite anything else, holidays are an emotional time for everyone. The shame and gravity of addiction are often heavier this time of year and if someone goes all year without contemplating making change, they are more likely to consider it now. If a family member or loved one is showing signs of addiction, NOW is the time to do something about it.

If you are struggling with addiction and do not know what to do, a change starts with telling your loved ones you need help. Doing this does not make you a bad person nor does it make you stupid. It means you have problems you are now willing to address. Just like everyone else in the world. If you have a loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it starts with confronting them and demanding they address the addiction. Provide support, guidance, help AND insistence they follow through and get the help.

This holiday season, give yourself or a loved one the most precious gift of all. Life. Don’t wait— your family wants you to be around for next year’s holiday celebrations.


Derek Heiblim

Derek is certified as a Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Instructor from the Crisis Prevention Institute. Also a Counselor in Training with the Louisiana Addictive Disorders Regulatory Authority since 2013, he will become fully certified in 2016. As the Narconon Case Supervisor, Derek oversees all delivery of the Narconon program from withdrawal to the completion of the program.