Addiction Recovery Blog

Tips for Having a Sober Halloween

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 21, 2021 / by Russ Kallina

Russ Kallina

If you love Halloween festivities, and are newly sober, you may be worried that sobriety will cause you to miss out on the Halloween fun.

However, there are plenty of ways you can still have a great Halloween while being sober, you will just want to be more mindful of your triggers so that you can manage them effectively. 

Potential Dangers of Drinking on Halloween 

Halloween is often centered around alcohol, especially for college students. College students are more likely to binge drink on Halloween, consuming an average of 6.3 alcoholic beverages.

Individuals are also more likely to drive while under the influence on Halloween. Between 2015 and 2019, there were 126 people killed in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night in the US.

On Halloween night 2019, adults between the ages of 21 and 34 had the highest percentage (62%) of fatalities in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night.

 

Binging After Sober October

If you have been participating in Sober October, it’s advised that you don’t celebrate a month without alcohol by drinking in excess on Halloween. It’s important to let your body build up a tolerance to alcohol after being abstinent for a month or longer. 

Dr. Sarkhel from Living Mind clinic, says, “Your liver may not be used to that amount of drinking. Your mind may not be used to that amount of drinking. Introduce it very very slowly, maybe with just half a glass of wine over a meal for the first drink.”

 

How to Stay Sober on Halloween

  1. Be in control of your environment & triggers: Don’t go anywhere that makes you uncomfortable. For example, you may choose to avoid places where alcohol will be served, or to avoid hanging out with certain people who will pressure you to drink. 

  2. Stay Home: There’s absolutely nothing wrong with staying home on Halloween. You can hand out candy to trick or treaters, and watch a festive movie. This way, you protect yourself from any potential triggers and dangers such as drunk drivers. 

    woman carving a pumpkin

  3. Spend time with friends and family. If there are children in your family, offer to take them trick-or-treating. You can spend the rest of the evening participating in family-friendly activities that can be even more fun than alcohol-centered parties.

  4. Have a Strategy: If you do plan to go to a party where alcohol is served, have a strategy in place. Go with another sober friend, bring your own alcohol-free drinks, have a response prepared when offered a drink, and leave if you start to feel uncomfortable. 

Sober Halloween Activities

Don’t give into the mindset that says you can’t have fun while sober. There are plenty of family-friendly, sober activities that you can partake in on Halloween so you don’t have to feel like you’re missing out on anything.

If it’s your first sober Halloween, try to form some new traditions that you can revisit every year. 

  • Carve a pumpkin 
  • Make festive mocktails
  • Go to a haunted house
  • Bake & decorate Halloween goodies
  • Watch a scary movie

Host a Sober Party

You can combine some of these ideas and host your own sober costume party. To make the party planning aspect more fun, get a friend to help you host it.

  • Decorate your house
  • Provide some festive treats and mocktails, or have guests make or bring their own! 
  • Have an apple bobbing station 
  • Throw a costume contest 
  • Throw a pumpkin carving contest
  • Watch a festive movie

    Halloween themed cupcakes

Make sure your guests know in advance that this is a sober party, and that it won’t be acceptable to bring their own alcoholic beverages.

Be mindful of who you put on your guest list, so you don’t have to deal with people showing up intoxicated or complaining about the lack of alcohol at the party. 

You may think that the concept of a sober Halloween is scary, but what’s scarier is losing control during the night. You may regret a night of drinking, but you will never regret not drinking.

With sobriety, you can wake up with happy memories from the night before, rather than regret and a piercing hangover. 

If you or a family member are looking for more information and resources on how to begin a life of sobriety, reach out to our experienced staff who can help you thrive in sobriety. 

 

Topics: Addiction, Alcohol, Sober Living, Positive Recovery

Russ Kallina

Written by Russ Kallina

Russ Kallina is Aquila Recovery of Virginia's Program Director of Operations.

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