For many people in an alcohol or drug addiction recovery program, the greatest struggles along the way are external. With that said, Halloween can be a frightful holiday for all the wrong reasons. Attending a party with your friends can put you in the path of tough temptations that make you feel uncomfortable, intimidated, or nervous.
At Turning Point in New Jersey, we believe that celebrating popular holidays is something that everyone should be able to enjoy. In fact, togetherness and fun times can be healthy for someone in a recovery program for alcohol addiction or drug addiction. We would like it if you felt confident enough to enjoy your Halloween as you wish, which is why we have shared here some must-know tips to make the spookiest night of the year safe and fun for people on the path to recovery.
Make Your Plans in Advance
Impulsiveness is a major ingredient in most bad ideas. If you agree to attend a Halloween party, then you could feel like you are not in control of the night and, therefore, yourself. You could experience stronger temptations to drink or use while there.
Give yourself an advantage going into Halloween by planning your night in advance. Talk to your friends and family a week or so before and find out what they are doing to celebrate. You can decide which party sounds friendliest for your situation and mental health.
Practice Your Refusals
Ideally, you should be able to tell anyone at a Halloween party that you do not want a drink that night and that should be enough to get them to move on. However, in a busy party environment where many people are drinking alcohol, you are bound to encounter someone who doesn’t get the message, perhaps due to their own heavy intoxication. You might not only need to tell them no but to also give them an additional explanation, like saying that you are the designated driver for your group. You can practice your alcohol refusals in the mirror so you can gain confidence in saying them if you are feeling nervous.
Devise an Exit Strategy
You do not owe any obligations to your host or anyone else there. You do not need to drink, and you do not need to stay the entire night, especially if you are not taking anyone home when the party is over. You are completely allowed to leave a party if someone is pressuring you or if you are feeling uncomfortable due to all the alcohol being served. You can leave after telling the host you are departing, or you can just leave without saying anything. It is your decision, and you should prioritize whatever choice is best for yourself and your recovery.
Before you go to the Halloween party, you might want to set a departure time for yourself to follow no matter how the night is going. Drinking and using usually increases as the night gets later, so you might want to head home around 9 or 10. You might enjoy setting yourself an afterparty plan, such as watching a spooky movie before going to bed, so you can feel like you had a full night despite not staying at the party until the sunrise.
Bring Your Own Alternatives
Even the most cordial Halloween party host might forget to get non-alcohol alternatives due to the hustle and bustle of their planning. You should not rely on them to give you nonalcoholic beverages. Bring some drinks that you enjoy for yourself and for sharing, like a large bottle of your favorite soda. Creating nonalcoholic mixes can also be fun, like a fruit “mocktail” with all the makings of a cocktail except the alcohol.
When your alcohol alternatives start to run out, you might want to take that as a sign to go. Otherwise, you could feel an increased temptation to partake in the drinking.
Go with a Friend Who Understands
The most powerful method you can use to keep yourself away from bad temptations on Halloween might be teaming up with a friend who understands your situation and wholeheartedly supports you. See if you have a close friend who can attend the same party. If they can go, ask if they will be willing to remain sober for the night. Knowing that someone else at the party is also telling people “no thank you” when offered a beer can be comforting and encouraging.
Turning Point – Recovery Starts Today
From all of us at Turning Point, one of New Jersey’s most trusted drug and alcohol treatment centers, we hope you have a fun and safe Halloween however you celebrate it. If you are struggling with alcohol addiction and are worried the holiday could be an unsafe temptation, though, then please know that we are here to help. More than 3,700 people each year come to us for guidance, support, and fully customized care plans that show that recovery is possible for everyone. Sometimes all a person needs are to be shown the right path and to be told that someone believes in them.
Discover the change that is possible with determination and care. Call Turning Point at (973) 380-0905 today.