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Don’t Let Your Recovery Ruin Your Halloween This Year

There are a variety of things to do on Halloween that may impact a recovery addict’s chances of success. However, just because you fought an addiction doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun.

Whether you plan to attend a Halloween party or join in on trick-or-treating fun, here are some ways you can still have an enjoyable time without the use of substances.

Plan Ahead

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse [https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery] , the chronic nature of substance or alcohol abuse means that relapsing at some point is not only possible, but somewhat likely. However, you can still avoid being a statistic with clear focus.

One way is to plan your support system ahead of time by making sure that you attend a 12-step program before and after the event. By doing so, you will regain the mindset of why you choose to be sober. Additionally, make sure that you can leave at any time and should a difficult situation arise, such as a persistent offer for a drink, a simple “No, thank you” should suffice. Be assertive, and physically walk away from the situation if you feel like you’re getting hammered.

Additionally, attend the event with a friend [http://www.drugrehab.org/staying-sober-temptation-parties-events/] who is also sober who can keep you on track and so you can have each other’s back if things get stressful. Depending on the size of the party, you may choose to make a smooth exit, or politely excuse yourself for the night.

Reach Out

Focusing on the needs of others takes the focus off of yourself during this time. Perhaps you can use this as a time to catch up with old friends or focus on making new ones [https://health.usnews.com/health-care/for-better/articles/2017-02-10/finding-friends-after-addiction-rehabilitation]. Other ways of being of service may include volunteering at a homeless shelter, visiting with a lonely neighbor or just getting involved in handing out treats to children.

You’ve come this far which is a testament to how strong you truly are, so make a deeper impact in someone else’s life by focusing on the positive.

Pay Attention

Keep track of drinks that are being served at any event that you attend. Be mindful that even though others may get drunk or high that you don’t have to fall into the trap. Be mindful of what drinks are being served and how they are being prepared.

Love Yourself

Practicing self-care has endless benefits for the body and soul, which can greatly improve your state of mind, especially after an accidental slip up or if you feel stressed or anxious over a temptation or something someone said.

Take this time to take care of yourself through proper sleep, diet, and exercise. The healthier you are, the more willpower you will have. This can also be a great time for reflection since we are so near the holiday seasons. If you are spiritual, try implementing some prayer, meditation or relaxation into your day.

There’s No Time Like the Present

Halloween is technically the start of the holidays and while you may think since there’s so much to be done and people to see that you can put off a session or two with your counselor, now is the time to implement more treatment into your schedules.

Addiction tends to spike [http://wric.com/2015/11/27/depression-drug-addiction-calls-spike-during-holidays/] during the holidays, so it’s more important than ever to gather up your support group, include more mindfulness into your days and to increase awareness of what is around you during this time.

Addiction may want to take control of your life, but it doesn’t have to. Celebrating Halloween is a time to let go and have fun and let loose. However, with cautionary arrangements, you can focus on your substance-free future ahead.