BY: Tangu

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Seasonal Affective Disorder and Addiction

As the days shorten and the nights grow darker, our moods and mental health may change as well. Experiencing feelings of depression or anxiety in the colder Fall and Winter months of the year may be a sign of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a mental health disorder which affects millions of people around the world. Some estimates suggest up to 20 percent of Americans are affected by SAD each year, with varying levels of impact on one’s daily life.

For some, coping with the mental and emotional strains of Seasonal Affective Disorder can be challenging. While drug and alcohol use can offer temporary relief, substance abuse only further complicates the issue in the long run.

If you are experiencing negative effects caused by the change in seasons, understanding what Seasonal Affective Disorder is can help you learn to cope with the challenges it presents.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder? 

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a mood disorder caused by the daylight changes associated with the seasons. Most people who live with SAD experience symptoms in the Fall and Winter months, though some may experience them in the Spring and Summer. Temperature changes can also play a role for residents of colder climates, especially when heavy snow causes isolation and solitude.  

Seasonal Affective Disorder is caused by two factors: changes in the body’s natural circadian rhythm (which regulates the sleep-wake cycle) and reduced production of certain neurological hormones. Serotonin and melatonin levels may drop during the darker months, causing symptoms like

  • Depression 
  • Fatigue 
  • Anxiety 
  • Loss of interest and social withdrawal 
  • Mood swings 
  • Excessive sleepiness 
  • Insomnia 
  • Changes in appetite 

For people with certain co-occurring mental health disorders like depression or Bipolar Disorder, SAD can worsen existing symptoms.

Seasonal Affective Disorder and Addiction Treatment in Atlanta

While SAD may not be the root cause of substance abuse, the intensification of other mental health symptoms can be difficult to manage. Using drugs and alcohol to numb the pain or escape the emotional distress of underlying trauma creates a damaging cycle of substance abuse that can end in tragedy. Despite what may seem like relief in the moment, drug and alcohol use may act as depressants and ultimately cause symptoms to worsen. 

Alternatively, developing a physical dependence on certain substances to produce endorphins and serotonin is equally harmful. One may feel numb or unable to experience pleasure or happiness without the use of “uppers” like cocaine, further deepening dependence.

Overcoming addiction is possible. Addiction treatment in Atlanta offers the support and guidance necessary to building a brighter future in long-term recovery. Through comprehensive treatment programs addressing both the physical and psychological, Tangu Recovery can help you reclaim control of your life.

If you are struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder and addiction, the shame and fear of judgements based on social stigmas can make seeking help difficult, if not impossible. Tangu Recovery offers affordable, judgement-free access to the medical and mental health support you need to break the chains of addiction.

Our recovery specialists understand that Seasonal Affective Disorder and substance abuse  affects everyone differently. That’s why we use a personalized approach to addiction treatment in Atlanta, addressing your specific challenges, empowering you with the tools necessary for your new healthier, sober life. Through holistic therapy options offering through outpatient programs, we make it easier to achieve and maintain recovery. Tangu Recovery day or evening options means you can improve your quality of life while still seeing to your everyday responsibilities.

If you are ready to take back control of your life, let us help guide your path to recovery. Contact us today. 

PTSD and Substance Abuse 21 Jun 2019

BY: Tangu

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Substance Abuse and PTSD Commonly Manifest Together

Why Do Those With PTSD Use Substances?

If you’re one of the individuals seeking help for your substance abuse disorder, it’s also 50% likely you also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But, you don’t need to be told this. In a way, it makes perfect sense that those experiencing immense psychological pain would occasionally turn to drugs or alcohol to cope.

PTSD occurs when an individual experiences an event—or numerous events—so frightening that they begin to experience distressing symptoms that limit their ability to function in the world.

Anyone can suffer from PTSD, not simply those who have served in the military. The condition can affect anyone who has experienced something extremely disorienting, scary, or overwhelming. This is especially the case if the event involved a threat to their or someone else’s life. Even secondhand exposure to such details can cause PTSD.

Substance abuse is when an individual uses drugs or alcohol to the point that they become addicted and begin to suffer consequences throughout their life. One defining characteristic of the disorder is that these consequences often don’t lead the individual to curb or end their substance use.

The Complexity of Co-Occurring Disorders

Those suffering from co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorders have a more difficult time overcoming their disorders. Their substance abuse also tends to be more complicated.

For example, they report greater cravings and may even relapse quicker following substance abuse treatment. They may also experience an increased risk of developing other psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety, and suicidality.

We’ve already talked a little about why someone with PTSD might use substances to help cope with their pain.

Still, there’s another component. It may also be the case that characteristics making someone more likely to develop PTSD also mean they are more likely to develop a substance use disorder. Some of these characteristics may even be genetic.

Or, they may be a result of environmental factors. Examples could be living in an abusive household or a poverty-stricken neighborhood. This is why PTSD and substance abuse are so likely to manifest at the same time.  

Suffering from co-occurring substance abuse and post-traumatic disorders only means it’s that more imperative you seek help from the professionals there to help you navigate these complex conditions. Help is out there. You’re not alone.

BY: Tangu

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Men’s Health Week: Substance Abuse Warning Signs and How to Overcome Addiction

Everyone has a drink just to take the edge off, right? Though sometimes you wonder if you’re having more drinks than most people you know. Maybe you also enjoy using drugs recreationally with friends to forget about the stress you’re experiencing. Or maybe you keep filling that painkiller prescription that was meant to help with pain from a past injury, even though it is well healed by now. Do you worry that you have a drug or substance abuse problem?

Drug addiction and alcoholism occur when the body and brain collectively adapt to a substance, to the point of users experiencing cravings for the substance. This can be a slippery slope and those with a substance abuse disorder can quickly lose control of their lives. Users can experience physical changes in their body and brain that makes them dependent on the substance they are using. As the user consumes more and more of the substance their tolerance increases. This causes them to have to use even more of the substance to get to their desired state of mind.

Understanding the signs and potential causes of substance abuse are the first steps to recovering and getting your life back under your control.

Warning Signs

If you worry about your alcohol consumption it is important to know what an average amount of alcohol consumption looks like. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that a moderate amount of alcohol for an adult male is 2 drinks per day. To put this into perspective, 12 ounces of beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine, and 1.5 ounces (commonly referred to as a shot) of 80-proof liquor are all equivalent to 1 drink.

In general, you can recognize if you have a problem with alcohol or drugs by considering how much you need in order to get drunk or high. If you need a large amount of the substance, you may be becoming dependent on it. Research studies have shown that men are overall more likely to abuse substances than women. 

Consequences of substance abuse for males can result in erectile dysfunction, infertility, testicle shrinkage, a higher risk of heart attack, and loss of hair. This is on top of all the other health consequences of using substances such as the higher risk of stroke, neurological damage, risk of contracting a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), etc. 

Those who struggle with mental illness are more likely to start abusing alcohol or drugs. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) claims that about half of the population who already has a mental illness also abuses alcohol or drugs. It is important to pay attention to your substance use if you already struggle with mental health issues. Many want to self medicate but this will probably have adverse effects on your condition.

A significant warning sign is if your alcohol or drug use has affected other parts of your life. This matters even more so if your substance use has disrupted your life and you still continue to use it.

Getting Help

The next step in eliminating substance abuse is seeking help. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 62% of clients who seek substance abuse treatment are male. Taking action is the hardest part. There is a stigma around asking for help but it is more important that you get the help you need. To reach out and get help, you can contact:

  • Your primary care physician.
  • A local treatment facility. You can find a rehabilitation center near you by searching through SAMHSA’s Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator.
  • A local 12-step program specifically designed for alcohol (Alcoholics Anonymous) or other substances. This option is beneficial alongside medical intervention. Meeting others who struggle in similar ways to you can help you feel less alone. Support is important, especially during recovery.

Physicians and support groups are nonjudgmental resources that understand what you are going through and exist to support and guide you back to sobriety. To learn more about substance abuse and overcoming addiction, please call Tangu Recovery today.

BY: Tangu

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It Takes 33 Milliseconds to Trigger Relapse: Here’s How to Stop It

The Implications of Relapse

Relapse is ground zero.

Relapse is waking up in a hospital bed— if you wake up at all.

Relapse, for many, is the end of the road.

Once the body has lost its tolerance for an addictive substance the chances of overdose increase dramatically.

Thankfully, relapse is not a death sentence, and we can prepare for it.

What Is a Trigger Anway?

A trigger for relapse is a strong urge to use an addictive substance. Triggers exist both organically in the world or manifest in our thoughts. Without creating a trigger plan, one is more likely to succumb to their triggers.

Common triggers to stay away from our old friends and associates one used to partake in addictive substances with, places one used to frequent to get high, and old environments where general drug-related foolery occurred.

Tools to Redirect Your Triggers

Even if you’re overly dedicated to avoiding triggers at all costs— you cannot control the external world.

So if you see him or her or you can’t stop the gnawing feeling of emptiness, you’ll need to reach inwardly.

Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness is scientifically proven to reduce stress. Once “triggered” remind yourself this moment is temporary. Redirect your thoughts to regaining homeostasis.

Your Personal Goals

Recovery is the single most transformational time of your life. Your personal goals are somewhat of a beacon on your journey. During the throes of addiction, we tend to lose sight of what we wanted to accomplish, and who we want to become.

Use your personal goals as a memento to recenter yourself and as a daily reminder to choose better. Take the steps ushering yourself into a positive mental and physical environment conducive to recovery.

If you don’t have any concrete goals, why not answer the following?

  • What kind of person do you want to be? What does that look like?
  • What are your career objectives?
  • What childhood dreams do you still want to achieve?
  • Where do you want to be in a year, five, ten?

Family, Friends, & Your Recovery Network

If you’re panicked, suffering from anxiety, or are suffering from cravings, reach out! Your loved ones want to help you succeed— you are not a burden.

Trust us, your loved ones would rather be on the phone with you offering comfort— even if they’re in the middle of doing something.

Don’t make them visit you in the morgue.

Meditate

Crazy as it sounds, establishing a regular meditation practice is wonderful for your mental health— and is a skill you may call upon during times of crisis.

What tips do you have for dealing with triggers? Comment below!

BY: Tangu

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15 Quotes to Inspire You on Your Recovery Journey

     The road to recovery can be long and hard. Though you may stumble and fall along the way, it is not the end of the journey. When you’re in recovery, sometimes you’ll have to reach deep inside yourself to find the strength to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and continue the climb to sobriety. Here are some quotes to carry with you and to give you strength when you need it most. 

  1. “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” -Confucius 
  2. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'” –Muhammad Ali
  3. “Recovery is something you have to work on every single day, and it’s something that doesn’t get a day off.” -Demi Lovato 
  4. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” -Maya Angelou 
  5. “I will persist until I succeed. Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult. I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking.” -Og Mandino
  6. “If you’re going through hell, keep going. Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Never, never, never give up.” -Winston Churchill 
  7. “It is better to be alone than in bad company.” -George Washington
  8. “Self belief and hard work will always earn you success.” – Virat Kohli
  9. “There is no substitute for hard work. Never give up. Never stop believing. Never stop fighting.” -Hope Hicks
  10. “There is no shortcut. It takes time to build a better, stronger version of yourself.” -Unknown
  11. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
  12. “It is wise to focus your anger towards problems-not people, to focus your energies on answers-not excuses.” -William Arthur Ward
  13. “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt 
  14. “It takes courage….to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” -Marianne Williamson
  15. “Hate the sin. Love the Sinner.” -Gandhi 

The Devastating Impact Of Addiction On Families 26 Apr 2019

BY: Tangu

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The Devastating Impact Of Addiction On Families

Substance abuse is often thought of as an individual disease. Unfortunately, one person’s addiction usually has a ripple effect on family members. Let’s look at how substance abuse takes a toll on families. 

Destruction of Trust

Trust takes a long time to develop and an instant to break. Someone suffering from substance abuse may lie or deceive others to keep their secret from family members. Furthermore, due to relapse issues, any trust that is gained may be broken over and over again.

Growing Up Too Fast

Children of addicted persons are often forced to take on parental roles at a young age. This is especially true when the person suffering from substance abuse is a single parent. Kids are robbed of their childhood and are forced to deal with situations before they are developmentally ready. In addition, parents suffering from addiction are often overly critical and inconsistent in implementing rules, leading to ineffective and injurious parenting practices.

Money

Drugs and alcohol cost money. For those who are addicted, purchasing drugs takes priority over other expenses. This puts families in a poor financial situation, where essential bills may go unpaid due to the need for a consistent fix. 

Social Isolation

There is considerable shame associated with substance abuse. Families are often embarrassed by the behavior of their family member and choose to remove themselves from social situations rather than face the chance of inappropriate incidents. This may lead to increased isolation and a lack of needed social support.  

Legal Trouble

One in five people is locked up for a nonviolent drug offense. It is impossible to know how many of these people are dealing with substance abuse issues, but we can reasonably conclude that addiction played a role for many of them. Legal trouble due to substance abuse comes at a significant price. Not only does legal representation cost money, but it also takes time and effort to fight charges. Additionally, if a family member ends up in jail, they are unable to contribute to the necessary responsibilities. Families must also deal with the stigma of having one of its members being charged with a crime.

A Vicious Cycle

The financial, emotional, social, and legal strain of substance abuse often leads to even more stressful situations. Someone who suffers from addiction will often cope with stress by using drugs or alcohol. Therefore, a vicious cycle is initiated that is difficult to break. 

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with substance abuse please contact us. With support, treatment, and guidance we can help you or your loved one conquer their addiction.

 

BY: Tangu

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10 Dangerous Lies Addiction Tells You

Addiction is a disorder of the mind. It is a deceiver and a manipulator, placing drugs and alcohol above all else in your life. Substance abuse disorders thrive on the lies they tell you, convincing you that they make life better, easier, or more manageable. Recognizing the lies addiction feeds you will help you break the cycle of drug abuse or alcoholism.

10 Dangerous Lies Addiction Tells You

Life without using is worse.

Addiction wants you to believe what lies beyond drugs and alcohol is unbearable misery. It wants you to continue using illicit substances to bury your pain. Addiction doesn’t want you to heal; it doesn’t want you to grow.

You’re fine— you don’t have a problem.

Social attitudes toward substance abuse convince us that it has a specific face. We tell ourselves that we have things under control because we maintain employment or because only drink at night. Don’t fall for the social misconceptions surrounding drug and alcohol abuse. If you have to convince yourself your drinking or drug use isn’t a problem, it probably is.

Nothing bad will happen to you.

The optimism bias, or the belief that nothing bad will happen to you despite obvious dangers is a serious risk when it comes to addiction. Fatal drug overdose is at an all time high, and yet we continue tempting fate under the false belief that we are somehow immune. Even past close calls may not be enough to break the bonds of addiction. The only way to protect yourself from the dangers of overdose is through recovery.

Overdose happens to other people.

This one goes hand in hand with the false sense of invulnerability. Overdose is a real and constant threat for people living in active addiction. Every drink or dose is a game of chance you can’t ensure you’ll always win.

What you do is nobody’s business.

Yeah, okay, maybe you have a problem. But that’s no one else’s business, right? Except substance abuse has a direct impact on the lives of everyone you know and love. Your friends worry, your family suffers; your children are scared and they’re watching you.

Rehab is a scam.

Addiction wants you to think it’s a life sentence. It wants you to believe you’re doomed to spend the rest of your days fighting off withdrawal symptoms and seeking the next buzz or high. Distrust in addiction treatment programs and rehab facilities keeps you from regaining control of your life.

You don’t need help– cold turkey is the way to go.

Addiction recovery is more than just gritting and bearing it through the pains of withdrawal. Because substance abuse is a disease that affects the mind and body, recovery requires more than just quitting, and often attempts to go ‘cold turkey’ fail without the proper support and guidance. Not to mention the inherent danger of attempting to detox without clinical intervention– it could be fatal.

You can slow down any time you want.

Ah, yes, moderation. The lie addiction whispers to you when it feels you slipping from its grasp. It says you can get things back under control without actually having to give up anything. You can cut back from a six pack per night to just one or two beers. You can use less, back off of the harder stuff and be fine. Until the cravings become too much and you give in. The dangers of relapse are greatly increased when desperation overtakes caution. Additionally, your tolerance may decrease, meaning what was once an average dose could easily become fatal.

At least you’re not as bad as ‘that guy.’

Odds are you know ‘that guy.’ Of course you do, watching them spiral makes you feel better about yourself. The problem is that type of comparison is inherently flawed. Someone else’s struggle does not negate the gravity of your own addiction.

We’re all going to die anyway.

This is the most morbid of all the lies addiction tells you. Human mortality doesn’t mean you have to rush to the grave. Living the life you were destined for begins by leaving drugs and alcohol behind.

Start with us today.

When a Loved One is In Recovery: Support is Essential to Healing 06 Feb 2019

BY: Tangu

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When a Loved One is In Recovery: Support is Essential to Healing

Recovering from addiction is not an easy journey. When you have a loved one who is working hard reclaim control of their lives, it’s important to learn how to be part of their support network. If you don’t have personal experience with addiction, understanding the challenges of substance abuse disorders can be difficult. While you may not understand what addiction is like from the inside, learning to be a positive influence is your loved one’s recovery journey can help. 

Learn What Enabling Behaviors to Avoid

For many people who don’t have experience with addiction, watching a loved one struggle is difficult. We want to help, but too often attempts to do so only compound the problem. Bailing loved ones out of trouble, making excuses for their behavior, or covering up drug or alcohol abuse only enable addiction to continue reeking havoc on their lives. This creates strained relationships and can lead to more serious legal and personal consequences. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your loved one is tell them no.

Encourage Professional Help

If you discover that a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, encourage them to seek professional help. Addiction is a complex disorder that affects the mind and body. As such, recovery requires the specialized care and support of clinicians and behavioral health professionals with the knowledge and experience to help one overcome substance abuse. Comprehensive, personalized addiction treatment programs focus on the individual needs and challenges faced by people in recovery, helping them to build a solid foundation for a healthier, brighter future. Many people in recovery build their support network through the friendships forged during treatment, helping to support and encourage each other to remain dedicated to sobriety.

Understand What You Can About Addiction

Stigmas and misconceptions surrounding substance abuse disorders are incredibly harmful to people living with addiction as well as our families and communities. Challenging these harmful stereotypes can help bridge the gap between people in need and life-changing treatment.

Four New Year's Resolutions for People in Recovery 09 Jan 2019

BY: Tangu

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Four New Year’s Resolutions for People in Recovery

Each day we wake up with a chance to write our own story. Each year is a new chapter, and the details you fill the pages with will largely depend on you. If you are recovering from a substance abuse disorder, it may seem difficult to write your own story, but it is possible. Since it is January, there is a whole year ahead of you to make strides in your recovery. We have collected a few resolutions that may fit your goals for the upcoming year. 

1. Resolve to Find Help 

Whether you are just starting out on your recovery journey or you are well on the road to sobriety, achieving recovery is difficult without a supportive environment. Reach out for professional help. For you that might be spending time in rehab, or it could be a simple weekly session with a therapist. Finding the right support system is individualized, so don’t be discouraged if the first professional system isn’t a perfect fit. Keep trying. 

2. Actively Participate in Groups 

It can be hard to open up about your struggles, especially when you want to be perceived as in control of your life, but participating in a group setting is an important stepping stone in your recovery journey. Resolve to attend a group regularly, whether that is a therapy session in a rehab setting, an outpatient program or 12-step meetings. Make it a goal to participate at least once during each session, even if it is just to agree with another sharer or offer your support. 

3. Reach out to Friends and Family 

Poor familial relationships are not an uncommon problem for many adults, none more so than those in recovery. Reach out to friends and family in the new year to rebuild broken relationships. Express your commitment to sobriety, and mend bridges were necessary. Remember, not every relationship can or needs to be saved, so pick the relationships that are most important to you and focus on those. Having a support system is important to your recovery. 

4. Work on Maintaining Healthy Relationships 

People living with substance abuse disorders have a difficult time maintaining healthy relationships. As a person in recovery, it is a good idea to make a resolution to maintain healthy relationships (and rid yourself of unhealthy ones). This type of resolution takes a fair amount of introspection, and you will need to examine your relationships, the reason for their health (or lack thereof) and you must be willing to accept blame where it is necessary. 

Finding your footing during the substance abuse recovery journey can feel really difficult. Setting small, manageable goals may make it feel a bit less daunting.

If you are currently on the journey of recovery and need additional resources, contact us today.

Best FREE Sober Holiday Events in Atlanta 19 Dec 2018

BY: Tangu

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Best FREE Sober Holiday Events in Atlanta

The holidays are a time when friends and families come together to celebrate. An overabundance of food and alcohol seems to be everywhere. For many, it’s one of the hardest times of year to remain sober. Fortunately, there are many family-friendly activities in Atlanta that focus on wholesome fun. Start new traditions this holiday season, and enjoy all the area has to offer– for FREE!

CHRISTKINDL MARKET – presented by the German American Cultural Foundation

Don’t miss the sights, sounds, and smells of the annual Christkindl Market. Stroll the traditional market area featuring endless rows of unique German products. Nutcrackers, glass ornaments, and one-of-a-kind handmade items abound. Local school bands fill the air with Christmas music. Authentic German specialties and sweet treats are available around every turn. Located at Atlantic Station, this FREE outdoor festival runs through December 23, 2018.

ATLANTIC STATION LIGHTS

The Atlantic Station lights up the night sky with over 250,000 lights covering an 8-block radius. Walk through this amazing FREE display as the snow falls from 6 pm to 9 pm nightly. Take pictures around the 50-foot tall Christmas tree and enjoy the surrounding area.

THE BATTERY ATLANTA HOLIDAY LIGHT SHOW – presented by the Georgia Lottery

The Battery Atlanta comes alive every night from 6 pm to 9 pm with Celebrate the Season, an immersive sound and light display. Held hourly in the Plaza, the Holiday Light Show is a FREE event that runs through Christmas day.

WINTER SOLSTICE YOGA – presented by Mystic Lotus Yoga and Nirvana Yoga

Winter Solstice Yoga is held on December 21, 2018, at the North Public Grounds of the Oakland Cemetery. Welcome the new winter season with meditation, stretching, breathing, and deep relaxation. This special holiday class is FREE and open to people of all ages, abilities, genders, and faiths. It is a great way to release the stress of the holiday season.

DAHLONEGA CHRISTMAS

Visit the “Perfect Christmas Town” of Dahlonega. FREE holiday events include strolling carolers and festive entertainment. The village sparkles with holiday lights on display through December 31, 2018.

COUNTRY CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AT THE ROCK RANCH

Country Christmas Lights at The Rock Ranch is a tradition started by S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A. On Christmas night, from 6 pm to 10 pm, the ranch opens its gates. Visitors can drive through more than a mile of twinkling Christmas lights for FREE. Admire the beautifully decorated scenes that light up the farm. 

BASS PRO SHOP

Every Bass Pro Shop in the Atlanta region offers Santa’s Wonderland. Games, holiday crafts, and activities are available throughout the day. Santa will be on hand for FREE photos.

As 2018 comes to an end, enjoy a sober holiday in Atlanta!

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