Holiday Survival Tips For Recovering Alcoholics

15 Ways to Stay Sober Throughout the Holidays

Hang up the decorations! Spend time with family and friends! Bring out the alcohol? It’s true, all of you recovering alcoholics must once again face the pressures of drinking as the holiday season comes once again. With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years just months apart, who has the determination to stay sober through all three? Family fun, parties with co-workers, and special evenings with friends can all be a lot of fun, but may be stressful for those who don’t want to drink.

How can recovering alcoholics and those who have other alcohol-related problems make it through this tough time of the year sober? The following tips may prove helpful:

  1. Tell a reliable person about your desire to stop drinking. This may hinder you from sneaking away to have a drink.
  2. Stay busy.
  3. Bring your own non-alcoholic drinks. This is important to remember if you think that only alcoholic drinks will be served.
  4. Choose only to attend parties you will really enjoy. This can limit the stress of not drinking and will reduce the chances that you will.
  5. Avoid attending parties with alcohol.
  6. Let someone know where you will be. Tell your sponsor or a trusted friend when you attend a holiday get-togethers and have them call you to check up.
  7. Take along a friend. An A.A. friend or someone else you trust will help in keeping you from drinking alcohol.
  8. Tell the host you may have to leave early. If you are worried about feeling awkward leaving a party early, tell the host ahead of time that you may not be able to stay the entire night.
  9. Show up at a later time. If you have been invited to a dinner party, showing up shortly before dinner may limit the amount of pressure to drink beforehand.
  10. At parties, choose a non-alcoholic drink like water or soda. Alcohol is not required to enjoy the holidays.
  11. Ask if any food dishes contain alcohol, especially if it is uncooked alcohol.
  12. Have a backup plan. Call a friend and let them know you may need a ride or someone to hang out with that evening if the party you are attending is too tempting.
  13. Attend an A.A. meeting or party so that you can find support in fellow members.
  14. Schedule other plans. Figure out something else to do on the nights you are invited to parties where alcohol will be served. This will keep you from deciding to go last minute!
  15. Remember that choosing not to drink is not rude. Forcing someone to drink is rude.

Alcohol addiction is a common problem, one which is difficult to overcome on your own. With the support and guidance of an alcohol rehabilitation center, recovery is much more likely. At many of these alcoholic treatment centers, unique therapy sessions and specialized programs are offered. These programs differ according to the alcohol rehab facility, but are each designed to treat the needs of an alcoholic and prevent relapse.


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.