New Year’s resolutions start long before the New Year for those in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. The year’s biggest party night is filled with triggers that can derail your recovery efforts. How you look back on the last year or prepare for the upcoming year can determine the course you take. Will you celebrate a sober new year or dive back into substance abuse?
The answer to that question depends on how well you prepare yourself mentally for New Year’s Eve and what plans you make to have a sober new year. The evening’s success will also depend on how well you avoid potential triggers and temptations that come your way. Although challenging at times, you can remain sober and continue your successful recovery through our alumni program.
Six Ways to Celebrate a Sober New Year
If you have a game plan and involve others in your recovery efforts, this year’s big celebration could be filled with positive memories instead of painful regrets.
Know Your Triggers
Triggers are relative to different situations in which you find yourself. You may have a set of triggers on New Year’s Eve that are different than any other time of the year. You may want to share your triggers with your therapist in your therapy program. Identify what triggers could arise on New Year’s Eve and have a strategy in place to manage them.
Part of the challenge is actually admitting to all of the triggers that exist for you. Admitting vulnerability isn’t always easy. However, it’s necessary if you’re going to get through New Year’s safely.
Avoid Your Triggers
You need to tell yourself in advance that there are certain people, places, or situations that you will stay far away from this year. Instead of rationalizing that you are strong enough to say no, eliminate the temptation by avoiding your triggers. Make plans to participate in activities that keep you out of harm’s way.
It’s pointless to put yourself in a situation that you know will be dangerous. There’s absolutely no need to “test” yourself to see if you can remain sober. Avoiding triggers makes it that much easier to enjoy yourself throughout the evening.
Go to a Support Group Meeting
Your group therapy program may have put you in touch with others to give you the support you need to stay focused on your recovery. If possible, try to connect with your group or find another support group in your area.
Before you begin your evening activities, go to a support group meeting. Sometimes, you just need remember what you’ve learned. A meeting will remind you why alcohol abuse can destroy your life and why you are celebrating a sober new year.
Stay in Control of the Evening
When it comes to celebrating events like New Year’s Eve, you need to be proactive in mapping out your evening. Have a plan for the evening’s events, including:
- Where you go
- Who you will spend time with
- What activities you will participate in
- When you plan to be home
- What places or people you will avoid
Once you make a plan, stick to it. Do not let someone else’s last-minute change affect your schedule. If you have a plan, then you are less likely to go with the flow and put yourself at risk.
Have an Escape Plan (And Use It If You Need To)
Regardless of your intentions, you may run into an event that involves alcohol. However, it’s possible that you won’t be able to leave because someone else is driving. This can put you in a tight spot and unleash multiple triggers.
The best way to keep this from happening is to have an escape plan. You may want to drive your own car or be prepared to quickly call Uber or Lyft to get you out of a tricky situation.
Host Your Own Event
If all the places and events you know about focus on serving alcohol, you may want to host your event instead. Invite people in your support group, family members, or friends who are on board with your sobriety. If all else fails, contact your substance abuse treatment program to find out what sober events are happening in the area. Remember that there are plenty of people in your situation. Sometimes, it’s best to celebrate with those who completely understand your situation.
Get Help for a Sober New Year at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center
Are you struggling with substance abuse? If so, now is the time to get started with your New Year’s resolution. Get clean and sober by contacting Georgia Addiction Treatment Center at 855.952.3546. We can help you overcome alcohol abuse and celebrate a sober new year for many years to come. Call us today to get started with your addiction treatment program.