5 Tips for Staying Sober During the Holiday Party Season
Last week, we talked about some of the challenges facing those with substance use disorder during the holiday season. We talked about the importance of communication, listening, and asking for help. With Christmas less than one week away (and New Year’s Eve close behind), we’d like to address that topic one more time.
We geared last week’s post towards the loved ones of addicts. This time, we have some tips for those who are worried about staying on the road to recovery during the next two weeks—and those who would like to start the New Year off by making a big change.
Will you make the resolution to get on the road to recovery for 2022?
It may seem like a big ask right now. You may think, “Oh, I’ll get to it later,” or “I don’t want to be ‘that’ guy/girl at the holiday party.” Scott believes honesty is the best policy. There’s nothing wrong with sharing that you’re in recovery. In fact, open and honest communication may help reduce the stigma.
However, if you aren’t comfortable sharing that you’re in recovery for alcohol or drug addiction, Scott recently shared some tips for getting through holiday parties:
- Bring your own drink to events.
It’s hard to be the odd one out when everyone around you is pouring drinks and making toasts. Bring your own beverage so you can simply say, “I’m good.”
- Say you’re on a diet.
Claiming that you’re trying to lose weight is always an easy excuse not to drink. Alcohol has a lot of sugar and empty calories, so most diet plans advise against it.
- Go early, leave early.
Especially for family gatherings (which are known to cause extra stress), you may want to arrive early to avoid the crowd and the drinking. Spend time with your family, and then leave before the drinking (and the pressure to drink) can get out of hand.
- Use the buddy system.
Go with a friend who is also sober or with someone who understands your situation. It can help to have that support right there next to you.
- Don’t go.
Isolation makes some people more likely to drink. If that’s true for you, staying home may not be the best option. Consider an alternative plan that surrounds you with fewer options for breaking your sobriety.
Mary Burt-Godwin of America Trends recently sat down with Scott and shared that just saying no to holiday parties really helped her get through her first year.
Alcohol gets a lot of attention around Christmas and New Year’s, but we must not forget about the opioid epidemic. Overdoses have become the leading cause of death for U.S. adults between 18 and 45.
No one wants to take a loved one to the emergency room at Christmas. No one wants to see a loved one self-destruct at Christmas. No one wants to plan a funeral at Christmas.
Choose to make 2022 your year for sobriety—starting now.
If you are facing a situation with a loved one, spouse, or even a child that has started to spiral, please call me at 619-993-2738.
Scott is the Founder and CEO of Confidential Recovery, an outpatient addiction treatment program in San Diego.
About Scott H. Silverman: Scott has been fighting against addiction for over 20 years, one person, speech, and book at a time. Contact Scott by calling (619) 993-2738 or visit Your Crisis Coach to learn more about Scott’s work and public appearances. You can buy a copy of his latest book “The Opioid Epidemic” here.
(c) 2021 Scott H Silverman. All Rights Reserved.