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How to Stay Sober on Halloween

If you’re new to sobriety, you might associate specific occasions with drinking or drugs. Though Halloween used to be strictly kid stuff, adults are increasingly observing the holiday with costumes, revelry and boozy parties. In years past, you might have used Halloween as an excuse to indulge in behavior you wouldn’t have done during other times of year. With Oct. 31 approaching fast, what are some ways you can celebrate Halloween without being haunted by the specter of a relapse?

1. Change Your Mindset

Many people mistakenly believe it’s impossible to have a good time while staying sober. However, you’ll need to correct that idea if you hope to continue making progress in your recovery on Halloween. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself and believing you can’t have fun on All Hallows’ Eve, take a positive attitude. You could use the occasion as an opportunity to reflect on how far you’ve come with your sobriety journey and everything you’ve achieved since declaring your independence from alcohol and drugs.

2. Go All-Out With Decorations

Turn your home into Halloween HQ with spooky or silly decorations that help your neighbors get into the holiday spirit. If you have a yard, take advantage of the space by hanging ghosts or skeletons from bushes and trees and making miniature tombstones to create a spooky fake graveyard. If you live in an apartment, you can still get creative by decorating your door or balcony with orange string lights, artificial cobwebs and plastic pumpkins and bats.

3. Get Away

One of the best ways to manage negative triggers and cravings is to shake up your surroundings. Despite the ongoing pandemic, there are safe ways to get out of town. Consider a rugged camping or hiking trip to get far away from any opportunities to obtain alcohol or drugs. As a bonus, you’ll be able to enjoy the cooler weather and changing fall foliage.

4. Host a Sober Shindig

You may be leery of going to a gathering someone else is throwing, but nobody ever said people in recovery couldn’t successfully host Halloween parties. Make a batch or two of holiday-themed snacks and desserts, and invite a small group of supportive friends and family members to a horror movie marathon or pumpkin-carving contest. Just make sure to specify on the invitations that the gathering is substance-free.

5. Go to a Recovery Meeting

If you’re worried that staying sober on Halloween will be too much of a challenge for you to overcome on your own, the people in your recovery group can help you remember the goals you’re working toward and keep you accountable. People who have walked a mile in your shoes will provide invaluable support on your sobriety journey. You can still stay in the festive holiday spirit during the meeting by wearing a costume and encouraging others to do so, too.

Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back From Sobriety

Relapse doesn’t have to be part of your recovery journey. At Spearhead Lodge, our qualified addiction treatment program teaches young men practical life skills and strategies they can rely on to avoid a relapse and stay healthy. Take the first step toward lifelong freedom by connecting with us today.