Families of addicts have a tough time, and this is especially true during the holidays. From Thanksgiving through New Years the entire focus is on family and friends, and spending time with those you care about. For those who are affected because a loved one has an addiction this can also be the worst time as well as the best. Concerns about the safety, health, and welfare of your family member can eliminate the joy that this time of year normally brings. If the individual refuses to confront their substance abuse and accept help then there is nothing you can do until this changes. You may want to help very badly, but the addict must accept that there is a problem and be ready to accept assistance in dealing with it.
Many individuals with addiction or substance abuse issues try to avoid family gatherings, in order to avoid any possibility of the substance abuse coming up. Other addicts may show up but may not stay long, especially if anyone mentions help. This can cause many families to spend the best part of the year in turmoil, without the usual warm feelings that the holidays should bring. If the individual will not accept help some families may cut all ties until a change is made. This can lead to failing to show during the huge meals and gift exchanges, as well as an empty spot in the heart of those who love the addict. Tough love is often called for in order to avoid enabling the addict, but this is just as tough on loved ones as it is on the actual addict.