A Safe and Sober Halloween
Emergency room visits are five times more likely to occur on Halloween than on a “regular” weekend night.
– The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN)
Halloween is tomorrow, and like many other holidays it is a day often marked by celebrations, which to varying degrees, involve alcohol or other illicit substances.
Currently ranked in a poll comprised of individuals between the ages of 13 and 25, Halloween is considered one of the top-ten nights of the year to party; and for many it even falls into the top-five. One study among college students even ranked it as one of the three heaviest drinking days of the year, among holidays such as New Year’s Eve and Thanksgiving.
Though Halloween may seem like a holiday of alcohol and drug abuse, and a day during which those in addiction recovery should hibernate, it doesn’t have to be.
There are plenty ways to celebrate Halloween without jeopardizing one’s recovery. Some of which can include:
- Plan your own Halloween event at home: By creating or gathering an event in your own home you are able to control who attends, as well as make sure that there are no drugs or alcohol present, or individuals under the influence.
- Hold a movie night: Why not take advantage of the horror movie marathons that air around Halloween, or grab a few friends and have everyone bring their favorite horror movie to share.
- Get crafty or try your hand in the kitchen: One of the aspects of addiction treatment is learning new and healthy ways to spend your time. Use Halloween as a time to try out new recipes or do-it-yourself projects with Halloween themes, or even decorate and transform your house into a haunted house for the occasion.
- Consider attending a support group meeting: Holidays can be stressful times for those in recovery. Reaching out and surrounding yourself for the night with others who have been through drug rehab treatment can be extremely beneficial.
- Be honest and say NO: Don’t worry about offending people or being peer pressured into joining an event you feel uncomfortable about. Turn down such events with honestly about your treatment program and journey through recovery. Those who respect you will respect and support your choice.
- Take part in traditional Halloween activities: Halloween is not just about drug and alcohol abuse. Following other traditional Halloween activities such as trick or treating, bobbing for apples, haunted houses, sweet treats, and dressing up in costume can be a great method for relapse prevention.
During holidays like Halloween, individuals struggling with addiction are often faced with more pressures to drink and do drugs. Yet finding alternative ways to celebrate, as well as surrounding yourself with trustworthy and supportive friends and family can help keep the feelings of isolation at bay and avoid relapse.
Addiction recovery is all about redefining your life and changing the way you live. Why not begin a new tradition this Halloween or discover your new favorite alternative way to celebrate?
If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction don’t let another day pass by without reaching out for help. We have addiction specialists standing by that can answer questions and provide the help you need.
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