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How To Enjoy a Sober Halloween

Halloween is already right around the corner, with costumes, parties, and spooky festivities. This time of year also means it’s more important than ever to protect your sobriety. With the right tools and guidance, you can enjoy a sober Halloween and have lots of fun.

How to Enjoy a Sober Halloween

Just like any holiday, it may feel overwhelming when you think about your sobriety during Halloween. There may be parties planned by peers or family where drugs and alcohol are present. You may even have memories of using substances during this time of year.

The most important thing to remember is that you and your sobriety come first. You’re allowed to choose events and experiences that make you happy without having to compromise your recovery. It’s also a great idea to plan ahead. This way, you won’t have to worry about last-minute stressors, triggers, or surprises.

A Sober Halloween Means Less Stress

Addiction can easily take over a person’s whole entire life. You may have spent your days finding substances, using substances, or spending time with “drug friends” who do not have your best interests at heart. This cycle can be extremely stressful and lead to conditions like anxiety.

While many people turn to drugs to self-medicate stress and anxiety that is already present, this only makes it worse. According to a 2008 study in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, addicted individuals show “enhanced sensitivity to craving and greater anxiety in stress- and drug-related situations.”

A sober Halloween means that you don’t have to worry about the stressful cycle of daily addiction. Instead, you will have more time for fun, and you can be fully present in your life.

Planning for a Sober Halloween

In order to protect your sobriety, it’s crucial to plan accordingly. It’s also important to remember that Halloween can be even more fun without substances. If you’ve been in the cycle of addiction for a while, it’s possible that you have missed Halloween in the past or you weren’t fully present. A sober Halloween gives you a chance to fully enjoy the holiday and do things your way.

Halloween Parties

If you’re feeling extra festive, you may want to plan your own Halloween party. Many people in recovery often feel guilt over bad decisions they’ve made in the past. Planning your own party could be a great way for you to build confidence in making positive decisions again.

If your family or friends are having a party, you can still plan ahead. It’s especially important to ask if there will be substances like drugs and alcohol present. Remember that your sobriety is your top priority, and it’s okay to turn down an invitation if you know you’re going to be in an uncomfortable position.

Halloween parties with friends and family are also a great opportunity to create your own healthy boundaries. Make sure to let people know what you will and will not tolerate when it comes to your health and sobriety.

Sober Halloween Gatherings in the Recovery Community

One of the best ideas for a sober Halloween is to seek out gatherings in the recovery community. Recovery centers will often have their own parties that bring people together who all have the same mission to protect their sobriety.

You can also find out if your alumni group has plans for Halloween. Many recovery centers, like The Guest House, have robust alumni networks that bring together both staff and peers to provide unconditional support. The Guest House even has an alumni program that is dedicated to strengthening your recovery even beyond treatment.

Triggers and Relapse

No matter what holiday it may be, triggers are always a reality. This doesn’t mean you should be afraid. Instead, this can be an excellent opportunity to identify triggers and learn how to move through them safely.

It’s no secret that many people will use substances during holidays like Halloween. For some, the holiday itself may even trigger memories of past substance use. According to StatPearls, people in recovery may be at a “significantly increased risk of a physical relapse during special times, such as a social event, holiday, or a trip when they may use mental bargaining to justify their use.”

During these times, it’s more important than ever to have a plan in place if you do get triggered. Self-compassion and peer support can go a long way in helping you.

What to Do if You Relapse

Relapse is a natural part of the recovery process. If you do relapse, this does not mean you failed. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), relapse rates for drug use are “similar to rates for other chronic medical illnesses.” The rate is about 40 to 60% of people with substance use disorders (SUDs). If relapse does occur, it’s important to have a strong support system in place, including a treatment plan that takes your specific needs into account.

Individualized Treatment

The Guest House proudly offers addiction treatment on a completely individualized and customized basis. We recognize that each and every person who comes through our doors has their own unique needs, and no two addictions are the same.

You will be able to overcome relapse a lot easier with a plan that works for you. At The Guest House, we will adjust your relapse plan and make sure you find the best modalities to suit your needs. Here, you will heal your mind, body, and soul together, one step at a time.

The holidays can be a difficult time for those in recovery, and Halloween is no different. Many people can be triggered by the holiday itself, and many more may find themselves at parties where substances are a mainstay. A sober Halloween is possible with the right plan of action and strong support by your side. At The Guest House, you will find a strong support network of staff and peers to help you enjoy Halloween in a safe and sober way. We also have a robust alumni network where you will find lasting connections. If a holiday relapse occurs, we will help you revise your treatment plan and continue forward along your journey. Call us today at (855) 483-7800.