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How Do I Stay Sober on New Year’s Eve?

New Year’s Eve is the biggest party night of the year. You can turn on the TV and watch revelers from London to Tokyo welcome the new year. If you are in recovery, it’s a holiday that can be especially challenging. You may be invited to parties. If you are out in public, even more people than usual will be drinking. How do you make it to the new year without relapsing?

Don’t tempt fate.

Don’t put yourself in a difficult position if you can help it. Christmas and other holiday parties are challenging in this regard because people are reluctant to skip family or office parties. Generally, people don’t mind as much if you skip a New Year’s Eve party. Certainly don’t go to a party at a bar or a club. If you have already experienced one New Year’s Eve sober, you have discovered it’s actually not a bad night to stay home.

Find a sober party.

There’s no law requiring alcohol at parties. AA and NA groups sometimes have New Year’s parties and sometimes they have “alcathons,” which are 24-hour meetings so people in recovery have some place to go while the world gets drunk. Your party doesn’t have to be officially sanctioned. You can get together with other friends in recovery or you can throw your own party.

Bring backup.

If you end up going to a party where alcohol is served, it helps to bring someone who can support you if you are tempted. It can be someone else in recovery or it can be a supportive friend or family member. The more support the better. Few things tempt you to drink like finding yourself at a party where you don’t know anyone. As a corollary, be ready to be someone else’s backup, even if you hadn’t planned on going out.

Have an excuse ready.

If you are going to a party where alcohol is available, be ready to refuse a drink. “I’m driving,” or “I have to get up early,” are rarely questioned. Even easier to have a non-alcoholic drink already in hand so no one asks you if you want a drink. Some people like to stick to bottled drinks so there’s no risk of accidentally drinking alcohol. If you’re worried about appearances, a glass of sprite with a lime looks exactly like a gin and tonic.

New Year’s Eve is an international party night, but it doesn’t have to threaten your sobriety. A bit of planning and common sense can keep you on the right path. If someone you know is struggling with addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help. We offer detox and assistance finding the best form of treatment. Call us today at 844-828-1050 or email us at to learn more.