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6 Ways to Stay Sober on New Year’s Eve

blurry image of woman holding a sparkler on new years eve

Updated on

You made it through the Christmas holiday unscathed. Now you have to combat one of the biggest parties of the year: NEW YEAR’S EVE. Before the temptation of a champagne toast takes over, be proactive and set yourself up for a successful sober celebration. Whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself or assume parties aren’t the same anymore now that you’re sober.


Have you been bombarded with invitations to different New Year’s Eve parties? Or the exact opposite, you feel isolated because you don’t have the same friends now that you’re living a new life. At this time of year, you are either too busy or not busy at all. For most addicts, each extreme offers its own set of triggers you can prepare for.

Too Busy Triggers

  • Friends’ parties
  • Family parties
  • Old friends visiting

Not Busy Triggers

  • Loneliness
  • Loss
  • Guilt and shame

These type of triggers can be difficult to manage. Preparation is key so there are no surprises. Also, having a relapse prevention plan in place, especially for holidays, is important.

6 Ways to Combat Triggers

You should recognize the holiday season is oftentimes more difficult than the rest of the year. For addicts and non-addicts alike, New Year’s Eve comes with additional pressures, many of which surround drinking alcohol.

Use these 6 ways to combat triggers during New Year’s Eve:

  1. Stay accountable. Be honest with yourself and the people around you, and keep in mind all the things you’ve earned back now that you’re sober.
  2. Take a sober supporter with you to all events where alcohol will be present. It’s easier to stay sober when you have someone else who also values their sobriety.
  3. Have an exit strategy in case you do start feeling uncomfortable. Being at a bar or interacting with intoxicated people is difficult for some people, but the most important thing to remember is that you are responsible for your own sobriety. If triggers to arise, don’t be embarrassed to leave.
  4. Always have a non-alcoholic beverage in hand. This is especially helpful if it has some sugar since our bodies oftentimes confuse a craving for alcohol with a craving for sugar.
  5. Speak with a counselor or your sponsor about unresolved issues. This means you’re regularly attending meetings, working and living the steps, being honest about triggers, and are feeling grateful for your sobriety.
  6. Find meetings and keep your recovery routine up. Some meetings in your area might host their own New Year’s Eve celebrations. This not only helps you stay sober but also fulfills the community aspect so you won’t feel left out of the fun.
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