The holiday season is here and in a time meant for celebrating with friends and family, it isn’t uncommon to add drinks and alcohol to the celebration.
But for some people, those holiday celebrations can add stress and triggers for those battling substance addiction or mental health issues.
An El Paso woman is dedicating her time and holidays to help those in need find the proper treatment and care this Thanksgiving.
Victoria Hankins of El Paso is a treatment specialist for Addicted Campuses, an organization which provides addiction treatment programs across the country.
Since the nearest Addiction Campuses facility to El Paso is near Dallas, Hankins works remotely from her mobile office–her car.
She works with different facilities in the borderland and other Texas cities servicing those in El Paso, Las Cruces, Midland and Lubbock.
Traveling from facility to facility, Hankins build relationships with the different centers to help provide the best behavioral health, treatment and primary doctors to patients.
As an advocate to those with addiction and behavioral health issues, Hankins also educates individuals on treatments options and promotes healthy healing.
“Sometimes they are triggered, patients or clients are triggered, with different types of emotions if they’ve lost a loved one and they can’t spend time with them you know, during the holidays,” Hankins said.
The El Paso native is back in Texas after she worked in California for 14 years in an area where she says was largely saturated with substance disorder and mental health issues.
“Just being able to help people find purpose and identity, just helping them to be removed from the substance abuse and disorder to find themselves, find purpose and vision for their life,” Hankins said.
Hankins hits the road this holiday season along with others traveling, but her destination is where the need is.
Hankins and professionals at Addicted Campuses want to offer tips to and signs to look out for at the Thanksgiving table this season, to recognize if a loved one needs help.
- Changes in appearance- notice any visible signs of significant weight loss, poor hygiene or dilated pupils
- Absence- loved ones making excuses or arriving later than usual to gatherings
- Secrecy- uncommonly quiet or reserved behavior
- Sudden Mood Change- unusual moods or behavior from a loved one
- Attempts to Cover Drinking- heavy odors of alcohol masked by gum or breath mints
- Relationship Strain- relationships with family or partners can be affected
- Financial Problems- unusual difficulty managing money
For more information on treatments or helping a loved one battling substance disorders click here.
Or you can call 24-hour Addiction Campuses hotline 1-888-614-2251.