A Sober Halloween: Enjoying Halloween Celebrations While in Addiction Recovery

hostChildren enjoy Halloween for many reasons. From candy to costumes to pumpkin carving, there are many fun activities. But none of those activities include consuming alcohol or using drugs. While you may have lost sight of the simple pleasures that embody the true Halloween spirit, you can make staying sober on Halloween a treat this year by following these tricks.

Sober Activities

Enjoy a night binging on scary movies with sober friends. In the weeks and days leading up to Halloween, many television networks air popular horror movies and Halloween-themed movies. Whether you love Halloweentown, The Nightmare Before Christmas, or Freddy Krueger, you’ll find something to watch. Make some popcorn in the microwave, bake some pumpkin cookies, and enjoy time with your friends.

Drug and Alcohol-Free Creativity

If you want a little more action, host a pumpkin-carving party. You and your friends can carve pumpkins, play Halloween-themed music (such as Monster Mash, Werewolves of London, etc.), and serve delicious grub, like pumpkin-leek soup and warm apple cider. You can also bake pumpkin muffins, pie, cupcakes, and cookies. Freehand a drawing for your pumpkin carving if you have the skill, or you can purchase or print out a face to trace and carve. Some people skip the cutting and decide to paint their pumpkins. Be sure to save the pumpkin seeds to bake up a tasty and healthy snack.

Recovery allows us to Embrace our Inner-child

If you live in a neighborhood, stay home to give out candy. It’s fun to see all of the different costumes and smiling children. You can also go trick-or-treating. No, we aren’t suggesting that you dress up and beg for candy like one of the kids, but if you know someone with kids or if you have some of your own, tag along on a trick-or-treating excursion. You can’t help but smile as you experience the joy and happiness of children as they show off their costumes and stock up on candy, and some of that happiness is sure to wear off on you.
Solve the puzzle of a corn maze. During the autumn, especially near Halloween, many farms create corn mazes. You can brave the maze with nothing but your sense of direction, or you can use a map provided by the corn maze host. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing and footwear. You may also want to bring water, bug spray, and sunscreen. One of the most fun parts of a corn maze is seeing how long it takes you to complete the puzzle, so bring a watch too. It’s also fun to have a picnic before or after you walk through the corn maze.

Scary Sobriety

For a real scare, visit a haunted trail, haunted hayride, or haunted house. All three variations have special effects, actors in scary costumes, spooky lighting, and more. A haunted house is typically indoors, and guests walk through rooms of frightening entertainment. Haunted hayrides feature a tractor that pulls a flatbed trailer and follows a path that’s lined with frights. Haunted trails can take place on a wooded trail or in a corn maze. Some haunted experiences are minimally scary, so children can attend too, but some are intense and should only be attended by adults and older teens.

Sober Halloween Fellowship

Some AA meetings host sober Halloween parties, but if you decide to attend a party or festival where drugs or alcohol may be present, it’s crucial to plan ahead so you can avoid temptations. Ask a sober friend to tag along so that you have a support system. Before leaving for the event, you and your friend should establish what you’ll say to each other if either of you feels tempted. Have a script in your head for how you’ll say no if someone offers you a drink. Also, plan a smooth and no-pressure exit if you need to leave because you become uncomfortable. Lastly, remember to have fun! Dance, socialize and play games. Keeping your mind and body busy will make staying focused on your goals easier.

Stick with the basics

Halloween can be fun and festive without the use of drugs or alcohol. It’s an exciting holiday complete with costumes, candy, desserts, pumpkin carving, and more. Having a plan is an important part of staying sober, so don’t wait until the last second to decide. Go ahead and team up with a sober friend or group of friends to enjoy some of the many fun activities Halloween has to offer.


14 thoughts on “A Sober Halloween: Enjoying Halloween Celebrations While in Addiction Recovery

  1. Thank you for the wonderful reminder of how to have a fun Halloween without drugs and/or alcohol! While I agree that parties can be triggering for some, especially those who have newfound sobriety, there are so many other options – just like you mention. I hope you don’t mind, but as someone who will also be celebrating Halloween sober, I will be reblogging this very important message. Thank you again!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tonight is my third sober Halloween. The first two were hell, but this one was fine. The tradition of passing out candy while drinking red wine was a hard habit to break, but it seems like I’ve achieved it. In fact, I forgot all about drinking tonight until I read this post. A great way to end the night, knowing I’ve got control.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. that’s a cool post. I’m sure I can relate to a lot here. I had my own difficulties of going to concerts completely sober, so I can feel the struggle. although I think “scary sobriety” is a bit harsh. I’d think of it in terms of a cold-blooded killer, not in terms of a people making responsible decision in order to improve their lives and not hurt anyone in the process. thank you.


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