Lighthouse Network’s Dr. Karl Benzio Says Nothing Can Match the
Time and Effort Necessary for True Transformation
Philadelphia—We search and search for the perfect gift in aisle after aisle, store after store. But for those struggling with alcohol abuse and drug addition, sobriety is the greatest gift they can give their family, friends and themselves this Christmas season.
“The holidays are about great gifts,” said psychiatrist Karl Benzio, M.D., founder and executive director of Lighthouse Network (www.lighthousenetwork.org), an addiction and mental health counseling helpline. “We give gifts at Christmas to show our love, and we remember the greatest gift ever given was from God above—His son, Jesus Christ. But at the holidays, we can also give the gift of a new life and true transformation.”
According to Benzio, struggles with addictions can intensify at the holidays for a variety of reasons:
Shorter days and colder weather contribute to seasonal or winter depression, and alcohol use increases.
Increased stress between Thanksgiving and the New Year wears down defenses, and the need or desire to escape, sooth or self-medicate can lead to addiction relapse or escalation.
The many letdowns of the holidays play a part in our mood and in how we respond to feelings of loss or disappointment.
Reminders of past poor holidays or of recent losses that are felt more deeply at the holidays can cause greater sadness, especially as “family and joy” are expectations.
The significantly increased access to alcohol and partying during the holiday season—a spirited season for the spirits to flow—can break down willpower and create excuses for abuse.
“A gift means sacrificing something of your own to give someone else something of value,” Benzio said. “The best and most profound gift addicts can give to themselves and to those around them is healthy living. This comes through making a sacrifice of the time and effort necessary for treatment—doing the work necessary to achieve one’s God-given potential.”
Benzio added that Christian addiction treatment integrates the powerful gift of Jesus into the powerful gift of sobriety, because Jesus came that we may have life and have life abundantly—not material abundance, but true peace, joy, fulfillment and contentment.
“The addict doesn’t possess true peace, joy and fulfillment, but desires and needs them,” he said. “Christian addiction treatment is where the first psychiatrist, Jesus, and modern science combine to bring healing to the broken-hearted and freedom to those enslaved by addictions.”
Those with questions about treatment options for family or loved ones during the holidays can call the free, 24-hour Lighthouse Network Helpline at 1-844-LIFE-CHANGE (1-844-543-3242). The most effective help will incorporate God into the healing process to bring lasting healing and transformation. Lighthouse Network also provides online resources for those concerned about a family member, friend or a loved one. Visit www.lighthousenetwork.org/im-family-a-friend.
Benzio shares insights on mental health issues in the one-minute daily radio feature “Life Change with Dr. Karl,” airing on approximately 425 radio stations across the country, including 200 stations in the American Family Radio Network. “Life Change” brings scientific expertise and biblical principles together to examine some common daily struggles and help people successfully navigate life’s obstacles. For more information, visit www.lighthousenetwork.org/life-change-with-dr-karl/.
Lighthouse Network works to guide struggling people through storms to achieve peace and find answers for those who have a hard time defining their problems. Lighthouse Network also offers the free, 24-hour Lighthouse Life Change Helpline toll-free at 1-844-LIFE-CHANGE (1-844-543-3242). Several resources are available through www.lighthousenetwork.org as well as through Lighthouse Network’s free daily Stepping Stones devotionals found at www.lighthousenetwork.org/stepping-stones.