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4 Tips for Surviving a Sober Halloween

What’s a Halloween party without getting wasted? You might be spooked by what a good time you can have without drugs and alcohol. The horror of your addiction is behind you. Progressing in your recovery, you are less and less haunted by your past in active addiction. No longer are you bewitched by drugs and alcohol. You are not a ghost any more but a budding, growing, evolving, boo-tiful woman- who is about to celebrate a sober Halloween.

Mischief and mayhem may still occur without the drugs and alcohol. Many Halloween activities are still plenty of fun without being under the influence of mind-altering substances. You can dress up knowing that you never have to wear a mask to cover your addiction again. Most 12-step and recovery support groups have Halloween activities where there is food, nonalcoholic beverages, costume contests, games, activities, and more. Here are some more tips for surviving a sober Halloween.


  • Create great sober “mocktails”: Who says you can’t have fun with mixology when alcohol isn’t involved? Some might argue that the effort and intention of creating drinks in order to have a drink perpetuates the problem of needing a drink. A primary rule in recovery is not to take ourselves too seriously which means having the occasional “mocktail” isn’t a problem. In today’s digital world of infinite recipes, there are sure to be some fun ideas for creating Halloween themed drinks without the alcohol.
  • Go ahead. Eat the candy: Those who are living in early recovery from addiction or alcoholism are known to have a particularly strong craving for sugar. For alcoholics, the sugar cravings come from the body being dependent on the sugar created by alcohol in the blood stream. For addicts, sugar helps kick up dopamine production, which is typically hyper stimulated by drugs. You’ll find quite quickly your body doesn’t tolerate a lot of sugar long term. The “sugar hangover” is a real physical experience and doesn’t feel good. Since it is Halloween, allow yourself to indulge in your favorite candies- or all of the candies.
  • Throwing yourself into cooking can help: Halloween treats might be even better than Halloween sweets. Cookies, cakes, and other fun dessert recipes run by the thousands on the internet. Be part of a Halloween bake sale, baking competition, or party. Offer to provide the treats so you can focus your energy on cooking up something sinfully delicious.


If planning is too much for you, make a different plan: Any plan takes planning. When trying to plan with a group of other women in early recovery, planning can just take too much. If you feel your plans for Halloween are getting too complicated and overwhelming, just make another plan. Plan a night in, a night at the movies, or something more simple. You’ll appreciate the memory of what you did to make yourself comfortable and have a good time.