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Spending Thanksgiving in Addiction Rehab

by Landmark Recovery

November 14, 2022
Thanksgiving dinner for those getting addiction rehab for substance use disorder.

Most people don’t want to spend a holiday in residential treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction. This especially holds true for Thanksgiving. In fact, some patients use the holiday as an excuse to leave rehab before they really should.

“A lot of times when I’m trying to retain a patient who’s wanting to leave over a holiday they’ll be like, ‘I need to get there. I need to be with my family,’” said Kaylee Walker, executive director of Landmark Recovery of Oklahoma City. “I’m like, ‘What’s this one holiday for the rest of your life? You need to get clean and sober so you don’t die, so you can make all of the other holidays.’” 

We recently explored why it’s imperative that people get into rehab sooner rather than later, regardless of holidays. There’s no telling how many of the lives lost to overdose in recent years belonged to people considering addiction treatment but not acting on it.

Fortunately, Landmark Recovery makes sure that those who take recovery seriously enough to check into rehab when the holidays are right around the corner get rewarded. At Landmark, we make accommodations to ensure that the holiday isn’t just missed.  

However, it’s important to note that these accommodations are just that: accommodations. They aren’t the focal point of one’s stay during inpatient rehab. 

“We don’t make a lot of accommodations because they’re only there for 35 days, so they really need to focus on their treatment,” Walker said. “But we also understand that being in rehab on the holidays really sucks, so we make it fun.”

Landmark still wants to make sure that your focus remains on therapy and, if necessary, detox. As such, we give you as much of a holiday as you can without hindering the process of equipping you with the tools necessary for recovery


Inpatient Rehab on Thanksgiving 

Thanksgiving is a major holiday, rooted in traditions that many take more seriously than say Labor Day or even the Fourth of July. One of the most important traditions that you might fear missing is the Thanksgiving feast.

There’s a sense of disappointment that comes with not getting the holiday-appropriate foods. Not experiencing the holiday in general, in fact, can be a trigger for some people.  

Virtually anything that makes you feel like things aren’t right might make you want to get high. It’s the coping mechanism you already know for getting through anything. It’s also your primary pastime, which means you’ll look for any excuse to indulge. 

“What we’ll normally do on Thanksgiving this year: we’re going to make a huge Thanksgiving dinner,” said Walker. “On Thanksgiving, our kitchen’s going to cook a whole feast. It’s going to be a lot of fun.” 

A Landmark facility’s staff want to make sure that the passage of a major holiday doesn’t derail your recovery efforts. That’s why the staff is prepared to serve you the big dinner to which most Americans are accustomed.  

Holiday Visitation in Addiction Treatment

Many facilities also do their best to acknowledge family as the most obvious missing piece on major holidays. In the case of the biggest holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, many people get depressed by missing their families on these occasions.  

That’s why many of Landmark Recovery’s treatment centers endeavor to specially amend their visitation policies for these occasions. At least in the case of Thanksgiving and Christmas, a Landmark program will permit you extra time with your family. Oklahoma City’s operation is perhaps one of the most extreme examples. 

After your eighth day at a Landmark facility, you become eligible for in-person visitations. Oklahoma City’s facility, however, is a bit unique in that so many of its patients travel from far and wide to admit to the facility for treatment. That means it’s common for their family to not be able to travel that distance for regular visitations while the patient’s enrolled. 

“On Thanksgiving and Christmas, we usually do Zoom calls,” Walker said. “A lot of our patients come from far away, so we do – in lieu of actual visits –  Zoom calls. It’s once a week, and they get an extra visit that week.” 

These are only virtual visits for those who can’t make it in-person. Like other Landmark facilities, though, patients can double up on the in-person visitation for these holidays. 

If you or someone you know are considering rehab this Thanksgiving or at any time during the holiday season, don’t delay. Visit Landmark Recovery or call 888.448.0302

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About the Author

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery was founded with a determination to make addiction treatment accessible for all. Through our integrated treatment programs, we've helped thousands of people choose recovery over addiction and get back to life on their own terms. We're on a mission to save one million lives over the next century. We encourage all those struggling with substance use to seek professional help.