New Year’s Eve can be a difficult time for many people in recovery. This date, in particular, might bring back memories of previous drug or alcohol binges or partying with old friends who also abused drugs. You may even find yourself experiencing more cravings, depression, anxiety, or other negative emotions that could drive you to drink or use drugs.
Although it might be tempting to give in to these cravings and emotions, there are plenty of ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve sober and safeguard your sobriety.
Spending New Year’s Eve Sober
Historically, New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous holidays due to the increase in alcohol abuse.1 In 2010, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recorded a startling increase of more than 250 percent in underage drinking-related ER visits on New Year’s day.2
Binge drinking continues to be a nationwide issue, with one in six U.S. adults binge drinking about four times each month on a regular basis.3 This doesn’t even include New Year’s Eve, which consistently sees annual increases in alcohol-related car crashes, injuries, and deaths.4
Clearly, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are fueled by alcohol abuse in America, but you do not have to participate in that. Many people spend New Year’s Eve sober and you’ll probably find that it’s much more enjoyable that way! Being sober on New Year’s Eve gives you the ability to be fully present in the moment and enjoy every bit of it. You’ll also be able to reflect on your past year of life and make clear resolutions for the year to come.
When you’re trapped in a life of addiction, any holiday is an excuse to drink and New Year’s Eve is no different. But now that you’re free of that life, you don’t have to waste the evening blacking out or the next day nursing a hangover. You can truly enjoy the start of a new year with your sober friends or family members by your side.
How to Avoid Relapse on New Year’s Eve
Asking a sober friend or sponsor to help keep you accountable is a great way to avoid alcohol and drugs on New Year’s Eve. The following tips may also help you avoid relapse and stay sober while you celebrate the holiday.
- Take a trusted sober friend with you to any New Year’s Eve parties you attend.
- Avoid going to parties where alcohol will be served.
- If you do decide to go to a party where alcohol will be served, be prepared to have people ask you why you’re not drinking and have your responses ready.
- Create an emergency plan before you attend any events.
- Continue attending your regular support group meetings.
- If you do have a lapse, forgive yourself, communicate honestly with your sponsor, peer recovery support specialist, or sober living house manager, and move forward with your sobriety.
Alternative Sober Activities for New Year’s Eve
Naturally, if you’re planning on spending New Year’s Eve far away from alcohol and drugs, you’re probably searching for alternative activities and ways to spend your holiday. Fortunately, there are countless ways you can spend your New Year’s Eve, depending on your personal interests and preferences. Here are just a few ideas.
- Play games at your sober living house with your roommates.
- Host an alcohol and drug-free dance party at your house.
- Attend an AA or NA New Year’s Eve party.
- Hunker down at home with your family and watch the best movies of 2017.
Recovery Support Services to Help You Stay Sober All Year
The staff members at Eudaimonia Recovery Homes understand that staying sober is a year-long and lifelong endeavor, and to achieve long-term sobriety, you’ll need some help. That’s why our transitional housing programs provide safe, sober living environments, coupled with several different recovery support services to help you achieve your recovery goals.
- Drug and alcohol testing – Residents at Eudaimonia sober living houses are required to participate in regular drug and alcohol testing. This maintains accountability among all residents and provides extra motivation to stay sober, even when you’re feeling tempted.
- Peer recovery support program – The PRSS (Peer Recovery Support Specialist) program is facilitated by a third-party provider, MAP, and offers personalized sober support for sober living clients who are new to sobriety. Each client is paired with a certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist who supports and guides them through the challenges of early sobriety with weekly meetings. Primary support loved ones also receive support services to ensure peace of mind and well-rounded care for everyone involved in the client’s recovery process.
- Recovery programming – Our Three Phase Program consists of specific objectives for you to meet throughout your sober living program. As they are met, you will be granted additional responsibilities and freedoms. This process will help you gradually assimilate into an independent life of recovery.
- Employment and education support – While you are enrolled in a Eudaimonia transitional living program, we will also help you find employment, volunteer opportunities, and create an educational plan to achieve your career goals.
Maintaining your sobriety after rehab is not something you should do or have to do alone. We are here to help you achieve lasting recovery. If you need some additional support this holiday season, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our admissions team is available to speak with you now.