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An Action Plan to Stay Sober through Holiday Celebrations


With Thanksgiving gone and the holidays fast approaching, it may be time to develop a plan of action so that your sobriety won’t be jeopardized. Whether you plan to attend Christmas or New Year’s festivities with family and friends, or you celebrate other holidays, the odds of experiencing difficulty staying away from drugs and alcohol increases. It’s not a secret that most holiday gatherings include some form of mind altering substance. Whether booze, wine, beer, champagne or illegal drugs people often feel that holiday parties are the time to get down and use. It is almost unavoidable for most of us. I would like to suggest making a plan of action that you can follow if you encounter a difficult situation that triggers you to use. Here are some steps you can take to help you have a safe, sober and happy holiday.

  • Talk with your sponsor and let him know what your holiday plans are. Make sure he/she is planning on being available during that time to take your call. Plan on calling him on that day or those days. Step outside of the party if you have to. Make the call and plan to spend some time on the phone with him/her.
  • Avoid getting stressed before the party by doing too much.
  • If you are offered alcohol or drugs, simply say no thank you and leave the room if feeling triggered. You are not being “chicken” or weak, you are being proactive and strong.
  • Plan to attend whatever party or gathering that you are going to with a friend who has some significant time being sober.
  • Call your friends who are sober and talk with them.
  • Look for other sober people. Not everyone drinks or uses. Just because your family or friends drink and use, you don’t have to. Now may be just the time to make new friends and form new relationships with old ones.
  • If you are planning on going out of town, try to locate meetings in that locality. Make a plan to attend them, and include that as part of your trip.
  • Find a sober contact with AA or a sober friend who will be willing to meet with you if you are facing temptation. Call the AA district office and tell them your situation, ask them to hook you up with someone in the area.   This is a great way to find a ride to the meeting if you are traveling without a car
  • Set a specific amount of time that you are going to stay at the party. If you have multiple parties that you are going to attend, stay for a set amount of time at each one.
  • Be sure to park your car somewhere that won’t get blocked in, in case you have to leave early.
  • Consider mocktails, simply cocktails without the alcohol, a delicious and safe alternative to alcoholic beverages and are suitable for partygoers of all ages.
  • Avoid talking to someone that is drinking. Usually they won’t be able to empathize with you.

By taking these suggestions you should be able to enjoy your holiday without mind-altering substances. It’s good to be sober. Happy holidays!



“How to Stay Sober During the Holiday Season.” NCADD of Middlesex County, Inc, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012.

“Sober Holiday Party Tips to Help Prevent Another Stint in a Drug Treatment Facility.” Pat Moore Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012.


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Kevin Giles is a product of Santa Cruz, CA – the stoner capitol of the world. A born again Christian, Kevin loves his Lord Jesus and believes that his purpose in life is determined by God. He first entered drug recovery at the age of 19, suffering from an addiction to marijuana. He is a recent graduate of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, where he earned his Master’s degree in Christian Ministry. Passionate about God’s Word, he aspires to become a pastor or missionary. Kevin has also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Monterey Bay. His interests include traveling, movies, golf, fitness and reading. He also enjoys being outdoors as well as spending time with friends and family. Kevin’s faith, education and life experience give him a unique perspective on addiction, recovery and spirituality.

Filed under: Holidays, Recovery · Tags: AA, Action Plan, Holiday Parties, sober holiday parties, sober holiday tips, tips to stay sober is operated by Recovery Brands LLC, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, Inc.
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