Celebrating Halloween While Sober
Just like many other holidays and celebrations, Halloween can often be an excuse to overly consume alcohol. For those in recovery, events and holidays like these pose a threat to their sobriety because often it can trigger old desires and behaviors to binge drink. If this is your first Halloween sober in a year, it can be especially challenging. Part of adjusting back into the real world after alcohol rehab is finding ways to continue having fun and participate in activities while maintaining sobriety. Fortunately there are several ways to celebrate Halloween alcohol free and keep on track with your alcohol addiction recovery.
Some sober friendly ways you can celebrate Halloween throughout the month of October include:
Attend a Halloween-themed recovery event. Many sober living facilities and community support groups sponsor events for several holidays, including Halloween, which are great options if you are new to recovery.
Try new Halloween recipes. Experimenting with holiday recipes is a great way to get into the spirit of Halloween. Healthy cooking in general can be part of your relapse prevention plan.
Volunteer at a community event. Volunteering any time of the year can help you keep busy and give back, both of which are beneficial for your self-esteem and confidence.
Go to a haunted house or festival. There are several family-friendly haunted houses and festivals throughout the US which can include several sober friendly activities.
Carve pumpkins with friends. Not only is it a fun social activity, but it is also a great way to express yourself artistically. Make it a whole event with friends and include snacks, movies, and mocktails.
Host your own sober Halloween party. If you cannot find a sober friendly Halloween party, host your own! This is a great way to learn that you can have fun without alcohol.
Spooky Alcohol-Free Halloween Party Ideas
- Encourage Everyone to Dress Up. Halloween is all about getting costumes. Encourage your guests to dress up by including a costume contest.
- Carve Pumpkins. Putting knives in the hands of heavy drinkers is usually not a great idea, but when you’re hosting a booze free Halloween party, your guests can carve pumpkins together. Include different art supplies like pain, yarn, glitter, and accessories to help make them extra special.
- Set Up a Dance Floor. Most people feel they need a few drinks in them to start dancing, but this is your chance to show all you really need is some music. You can find playlists online or on apps so you don’t even need a DJ.
- Halloween Themed Karaoke. You could argue that Halloween has as many well-known songs as Christmas, so you can set up a Halloween themed karaoke for your party. Party stores will rent out karaoke machines or you can simply find some on YouTube to put up on your TV.
- Host a Halloween Movie Marathon. Get the popcorn, movie snacks, and several of your favorite horror movies to host a Halloween movie marathon. Depending on the weather, you could even set up a projector screen in your backyard and enjoy the crisp Fall air.
- Create Some Fun and Delicious Mocktails. Just because you are sober does not mean you have to stick to plain sodas, juices, and water. There are several mocktail recipes available online and you can find several Halloween themed ones as well. Just be careful about the type of drinkware as barware like wine, margarita, or shot glasses may be a trigger for some.
- Make the Party About Food and Desserts. Halloween is much more about the treats and there are several Halloween themed foods and desserts you can make. You could even make the party a potluck and have all your
Holiday Relapse Risks
Relapse risk gets higher around the holidays starting with Halloween. 12 step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous begin to see their meetings become sparser and sparse during this time. There are many risks for relapse during holiday events mainly because of the prevalence of alcohol centered festivities and parties. Halloween provides an opportunity for many to have fun and let loose. For those in recovery, this holiday can come with its own share of temptations. Risks of relapse during Halloween and October include:
- Your mind may associate these types of holidays with heavy substance abuse which can trigger cravings.
- Friends or acquaintances may persuade you to partake in drinking when they’re intoxicated.
- Parties can be filled with temptations to drink again.
- Getting caught up in the celebrations. A happy and supportive environment may lead you to feel like you can have one drink and be fine.
There are several ways you can help avoid a relapse during Halloween. Remember to go over your relapse prevention plan and ensure you are checking off all the self-care routines you have for yourself, including attending some extra meetings or therapy sessions. Bringing a sober partner to events can help you feel more supported. Also, make sure to have a quick exit plan if temptations are getting to you, such as driving yourself there or having a ride be able to pick you quickly.
What to Do if You Relapse During Halloween
If you relapse, the first thing to remember is that you have not failed. Relapses in alcohol addiction recovery are common and they are just setbacks. Isolated incidents do not usually need addiction treatments, you may just need to reexamine your relapse plans. Use your relapse as a learning tool to clarify your recovery plan and recognize the triggers that led to a relapse. Here are some tips for getting back track on your recovery plan:
- Focus on forgiving yourself and moving forward.
- Immediately get back to working your recovery with plenty of meetings, sessions with your therapist, or reaching out to your rehab program.
- Ask for help from your support network.
- Learn from your past and how you got sober in the first place, such as coping skills and tools learned in alcohol rehab including eating well, exercising, hanging out with sober friends, etc.
- Make a new list of goals for your recovery, yourself, and how to prevent future relapses.
- Go back to alcohol rehab if necessary, there are several levels of care and you do not necessarily need to start back from zero.
Recovery Support at TruPath
TruPath is a nationwide network of addiction treatment centers and offers the complete continuum of care. Our team of specialists truly strive to help you reach long-term sobriety by uncovering the underlying issues of your addiction and giving you skills and tools to manage your recovery on your own. Our rehab centers offer all levels of care and we can meet you anywhere you are in your recovery journey, whether it is your first time reaching out for help or your fifth time.
If you are feeling vulnerable to a relapse or have already relapsed, you need to reach out for help as soon as possible. Our intake staff can create a personalized treatment plan to fit your needs and get you back on track on your recovery. Whether you need a full inpatient treatment program or would just need some support through a few addiction therapies a week, our treatment programs can help you get back to sobriety.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please reach out to us today and find out more about our rehab programs.