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"In the four years we've been open, we always pick up right at Thanksgiving," said Jim Fent, M.S., MFTI, P.T., A Better Tomorrow Treatment Center's executive vice president
Counselors at A Better Tomorrow Treatment Center don't need a calendar to know when Thanksgiving has arrived. They can tell by looking at their caseload of new clients seeking treatment for drug and alcohol abuse.
"November, December and January is when we have the most new clients coming in," said Jim Fent, A Better Tomorrow's executive vice president, adding that the surge in new patients usually starts right at Thanksgiving.
"In the four years we've been open, we always pick up right at Thanksgiving," Fent said.
A Better Tomorrow, in fact, had three new clients sign up for treatment on Monday, all three of which were "stressed out" about seeing family members on Thanksgiving.
"Emotions run high during the holiday season," Fent explained. "People use more alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism, and that sets the stage for a crisis."
Fent said family gatherings are usually the biggest stressors for drug and alcohol addicts because mental health problems often have their roots in difficult family relationships.
The good thing, however, is that the stress that drug and alcohol addicts experience during the holidays often prompts them to seek treatment for their addictions. In many cases, the erratic behavior that drug and alcohol addicts display at family get together also prompts families to seek professional interventions to force their loved ones into treatment if they are unwilling to get the help they need on their own.
Drug and alcohol addicts often deny that they have a problem, even when their addictions are tearing apart their families or leading them down a path toward unemployment or financial ruin. That's why a professional interventionist is often needed to convince the addict to seek professional counseling and treatment, Fent said.
A Better Tomorrow provides professional intervention services as well as inpatient and outpatient treatment programs for alcohol abuse as well as addiction to illegal and prescription drugs.
Based in Murrieta, Calif., A Better Tomorrow has the highest level of certification of any drug or alcohol treatment center in southwest Riverside County. The clinic is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), placing it in the top 5 percent of drug and alcohol treatment clinics in California. For more information about A Better Tomorrow, please contact Jim Fent at (800) 757-9867. Additional information is available on the clinic's website at http://www.abttc.com/.