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How To Stay Sober During The Holidays

Joseph Sitarik, DO

Medically reviewed by

Joseph Sitarik, DO

March 19, 2019

The holiday season is a time for celebration with friends and family. While often an anticipated and happy time, many recovering alcoholics and drug addicts may find it hard to resist temptation. Alcohol is prevalent during get-togethers and parties, and depending on the group of people you are with, so can a variety of other substances. So what can you do around this time of year to stay on the path of sobriety?

Here are a few helpful tips to stay sober during the holidays:

Ask Your Family And Friends to Be Supportive

If you are invited to a holiday event, ask those that are hosting to be aware of your sobriety. If it’s a small, close-knit party, suggest that alcohol might be eliminated from the event. If such people love and support you, then it shouldn’t be a big deal to stash the alcohol for the night. Such events are more about seeing friends and loved ones, and everyone should be able to have fun without alcohol or drugs involved.

Leave When the Alcohol is Poured

If it’s larger party, or you don’t feel comfortable enough to ask the hosts to keep the party clean, be choosy with your time. Stay until the alcohol makes an appearance, or if it is around the whole time, then stay until you begin to feel tempted. There is nothing wrong with an early and graceful departure when temptation is spurring you on.

Be Smart About Staying

If you’d rather not leave, ask a friend to accompany you to the party, one you are confident will hold you accountable for your actions and will not let you fall back into bad habits. Keep a non-alcohol drink in your hand, as it will cut down on offers for drinks from others. If you are offered a drink, you can just say no thanks. There isn’t a need to go into detail about your personal situation.

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Host A Party Of Your Own

If you are worried about attending parties where there may be dangerous substances present, and yet don’t want to miss out on holiday fun, throw your own party. Let others know that there won’t be any alcohol or drugs allowed and invite those who are also treading the same path to sobriety, that way you’ll be able to continue supporting each other about making wise choices during this time of year and have a good time while doing it.

Be Aware of Triggers

Certain feelings may cause cravings, and when alcohol and drugs are easily accessible during this time of year, you have to be extra alert. Avoid situations in which you feel:

  • Tired
  • Stressed
  • Hungry
  • Lonely
  • Angry

Also, if you are invited to a party that’s hosted in a place or with people associated with your old habits, it is wise to decline the invite. Such things can be triggers for relapse and are best avoided.

Remember How Far You’ve Come!

Finally, think of all the success you’ve already have in overcoming addiction. Is one drink or one hit really worth the possibility of having to start all over again? You have the strength and willpower to say no. Addiction no longer needs to have a hold on you. And be such to continue to attend support groups even though you may be anticipating a busy holiday season; you’ll receive renewed self-control around those who are facing the same issues.

Get Help At

Our caring counselors have the knowledge and resources you need to stay sober during the holiday season. If you’re looking for support groups or counseling during this time of year, we can help. All you have to do is contact us at to get started.

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