Dealing with addiction is hard on everyone involved, but post-addiction requires an immense amount of support and dedication. If you or a loved one is dealing with drug addiction, here are some proven methods to make the transition to sobriety easier. TheAlana Recovery Center is a highly-rated substance abuse outpatient center with three locations in Georgia.

These tips may help you or someone you love to stay on track with recovery while enjoying the holidays with your loved ones. Or many, the holiday season is synonymous with celebrating, and celebrating goes hand-in-hand with booze. But in the company of supportive loved ones, it certainly doesn’t have to be. Even if you know that you’ll be in a space with sober people this holiday season, it can be tempting to offer up an alcoholic drink as the default. “But saying ‘no’ might be hard for a person who’s not drinking, and some people, depending on the nature of their sober journey, may just agree to drink out of politeness,” says Bodkins.

Why “Am I an Alcoholic?” Is the Wrong Question

However, if you sober holidays like you’re headed for failure, don’t be ashamed if you need to excuse yourself from the festivities. Then, when you’re ready to depart, or if you become worried about a relapse if you stay longer than you are comfortable, permit yourself to leave. Try to practice these techniques before you need them. Then, they’ll be second nature by the time the holidays are in full swing. The holidays can be a time of great joy and great sadness, lonelin…


As long as you’re comfortable confiding in a friend, it’s a pretty easy tip to follow. Just tell someone you trust that you have stopped drinking, and let them know you would appreciate their support at any parties you both attend. This way, if you do pick up a drink, there is another person holding you accountable for your actions. This can be especially valuable during early sobriety, when you’re still feeling tempted to drink. You may feel less left out and less tempted if you have a fun, tasty drink in hand. If you’re going to a restaurant, this may mean looking at the menu ahead of time.

Explore a future without alcohol.

I seemed to have it all together — I was “high functioning,” you could say — but eventually I couldn’t even fool myself. The “edge” I continued to take off every evening got bigger and bigger until wine wouldn’t even touch it. You find yourself pushing the day out of your mind. When it comes up, you look for something to take off the edge. Maybe you find yourself binging on Internet browsing or simply ignoring phone calls from family members. Many of us look at Norman Rockwell’s famous paintings of happy families during the holidays — paintings like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” — and imagine that our gatherings will have the same festive glow.

It takes time to heal your body and mind, but it takes even more time to heal your life and repair the damage done to yourself and your loved ones. As you can see there are many options of how to make the most of sober holidays, either with family and/or friends that drink, sober buddies or solo! The most important thing is that you follow your instincts in what feels comfortable for you and stay close to that feeling. Make sure to put your sobriety first for as long as needed and the rest will follow.

Bookend a Party With a Sponsor or Recovery Group

You’ll also have time to find your friends and let them know what’s going on before they get distracted by other things. November through January is the most holiday-condensed period of the year. Whether you celebrate all of the major holidays or a select few, these last few months of the year can be intense, and for those in recovery from addiction, it can feel exhausting. Harnessing science, love and the wisdom of lived experience, we are a force of healing and hope ​​​​​​​for individuals, families and communities affected by substance use and mental health conditions. Isabel is an expat living in sunny Marbella with her little family. A happy non-drinker since May 2019, when she dived into the world of alcohol-free drinks and has made it her goal to try every non-alcoholic bubbly on the market!

How do I train myself not to drink?

  1. Set limits. Decide how many days a week you plan to drink and how many drinks you plan to have.
  2. Count your drinks.
  3. Manage your “triggers.” If certain people, places, or activities tempt you to drink more than you planned, you can avoid those triggers.
  4. Find support.

But the reality often looks quite different, and the holiday stressors quickly pile up for the person in recovery from alcohol or drug addiction, making it a difficult time of year to stay sober. Most people’s holiday seasons don’t look like a Norman Rockwell painting, and it’s normal for those in recovery to feel a sense of loss or separation. “Recognizing that the holidays are difficult, creating a plan to take care of yourself, and tapping into the recovery community are the best ways to navigate this difficult time of year,” McInturff says. The holidays can be exhilarating, offering an opportunity to reconnect with people you haven’t seen in a long time. But don’t lose touch with your mental or emotional state in the holiday frenzy.

Just because something is a doesn’t make it abnormal for someone to abstain from alcohol—in the same way that, again, it isn’t strange to abstain on any given day. “At a societal level, we’re finally beginning to recognize that alcohol doesn’t have to ‘own’ celebration, connection, and socializing,” says Emily Heintz, founder of alcohol-free drink retailer Sèchey. If you’re trying to get through the holidays without drinking, I’ll share a few things that helped me. The holidays can be a time for reflection and gratitude.

  • Stay busy during the holidays by volunteering, welcoming a new member of your support group, spending time with an elderly loved one – these tasks will keep your focus off any thoughts of relapse.
  • We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals.
  • Living with addiction takes the strength of a superhero, regardless of if you are the addict or the loved one.
  • If you’re trying to get through the holidays without drinking, I’ll share a few things that helped me.

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