You Need To Stay Sober during Halloween

How do I stay sober this Halloween and more generally, over the festive period?

There is a strange, almost eerie period after getting sober at a drug addiction treatment centre. It’s that first holiday after you reach sobriety.  With Halloween happening this week, and more relevantly, party season almost upon us, let’s try stay sober and delve into the not so spooky challenge of overcoming the urges associated with festive season fun. After all, you are on a journey to sobriety and a holiday should not be a break from that journey! Here’s our guide to staying sober during Halloween.

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Firstly, remember that festive season fun like Halloween parties can hold many triggers. A trigger is often associated with compulsive stimuli, something environmental, social or personal that acts as a cue to turn to substance abuse. These triggers can enhance and negatively strengthen addictive behaviour.  So, as I just said, there are many triggers around Halloween, but you can overcome these challenges and stay sober during this spooky celebration. At Houghton House Group of Treatment Centres, we have a number of specialised programmes and a host of qualified people who will be able to give patients the support they need for lasting sobriety, even with holiday-specific triggers. Yes yes, the potential of relapse is by far the scariest part of Halloween, but you can, with a little help and some realistic tips, stay sober during Halloween.


Are you heading to a holiday party? It may be a costume party or ghost-themed ghoulish gathering – but one thing is almost certain – there is a good chance that alcohol will be served as part of the party. This is how we recommend you avoid the triggers and have a kick-ass (and frightfully fun, Halloween)

HAVE FUN and stay sober

For every booze filled scary Halloween idea, there are just as many sober Halloween party ideas you can incorporate at your next Halloween party:

  1. How about a dress party? Host your own one!
  2. Like treasure hunting? How about a scavenger hunt (think chocolates!)
  3. Have a pumpkin carving competition and what about the classic American trick of bobbing for apples?
    These are just a handful of ideas which don’t require alcohol to have a good time.

Family time … stay sober over party time.

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If you feel that the party atmosphere may just be too triggering, take a look at trying other sober Halloween activities. You can (and it could be really good for your heart and mind) spend time with your family or take younger family members trick-or-treating. You can also have your very own scary movie marathon, which is a classic favourite sober Halloween activity. Remember, fright night is still a great night!

Think big! How about creating your own haunted house? You can take up quite a bit of time towards researching and executing a really good themed haunted house.  Think about candy floss cobwebs and rock candy cave icicles to start things off.

If you look outside, you can really have fun in your yard,stay sober and surprise those trick or treaters who are dying to get something sweet. Flip your front yard, garden path or driveway into a themed haunted house, or a zombie land – the real trick is to just think about it as a project. In doing so you will keep that mind focused on the work and away from the prospect of drinking and slipping of the path of sobriety.

To sum up, there is not really a single way to ensure that the temptation to drink during the festive season is avoided, but rather there is a method you can use to ensure you stay sober and that it doesn’t become a priority in your mind. Keep busy, distraction through hobbies, ideas and creativity is a wonderful way to be useful, be proactive and more importantly remain focused on the goal… You.

For more information on dealing with alcohol abuse and getting yourself into rehab to start a new life, call Houghton House now:

office hours:  011 787 9142

24/7 emergency help line: 079 770 7532

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