(WBRE/WYOU-TV) Christmas is just one week away  and according to experts drug and alcohol “relapse rates” spike during the holidays.

                Eyewitness News Reporter Anja Whitehead stopped by Clearbrook Treatment Centers to see what people in recovery can do to get through the holidays.

Alcohol is what brought me to my knees and what ended up bringing me up here to Clearbrook.” Christian Garruba is a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for over a year. He like many others know the struggles of being in recovery during the holidays.

  “I would always have to call my sponsor before and after every event during Christmas time. I always made sure I had a way out. I would do the fake call if I needed to.”

 But the faculty and staff at Clearbrook Treatment Centers want those in recovery to know they have a place to turn when the joy of the holidays becomes stressful.

  “Just like any kind of recovery program, recovery-based programs utilizing a support network, a sponsor, just utilizing close family and friends and anyone that’s conducive to your recovery,” said Lindsey Cochrane, Family Counselor Clearbrook Treatment Centers.

 One thing to be kept in mind is that it is not just the individual in recovery, but the whole family.   “What we know about addiction is that it is a family disease, so it doesn’t just require footwork from just one person, it requires footwork from everyone involved. As it is a family dynamic. So, the same resources out there for individuals it is the same if not similar for family members as well” said Cochrane.

Christian Garruba has words of advice for those struggling this time of year.

  “I don’t need something in my body that’s going to make me forget the next twelve hours and become the world’s worst human to you just because it is going to make Christmas that much better. It’s not, it’s going to make it a whole lot worse.”

If you need help here is the number of Clearbrook Treatment Center| (888)-230-3122