5 Tips for Staying Sober at the Office Holiday Party

The holidays are often just the worst for recovering addicts.  In fact, the holidays have truly the highest relapse rates, with December being the number one relapse month of the year, January coming in at a close second, and July coming in at third.  The holidays can be a real tough time for recovering individuals, whether they have been sober for five months or five years.  It often does not make a difference one way or the other.

With relapse rates at their all-time highs during the holidays, people do tend to worry more about their family members and loved ones who are recovered addicts.  The recovered addicts themselves worry quite a bit too.  If stress comes in and enters onto the scene, that just makes it even worse.

Recovered addicts need to be extra careful at office Christmas parties too.  Most think of family get-togethers or nights out as being the highest risk factors, but in actual fact it’s the office work parties that pose the most risk to a recovering addict.  Why?  Because an office work party creates the perfect combination of comfort and relaxation around one’s co-workers, but family members are not present so recovered addicts are more likely to slip up as they do not feel as accountable when they aren’t around their family members.

Tips for Staying Sober at Office Christmas Parties

To get an edge on the holidays this year, here are some tips and bits of information for staying sober this holiday season, especially while at an office Christmas party:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and spiritually.  An office party can be a threat for relapse, and you need to understand that before you even go to it.  Keep in mind that this is a potential threat to your sobriety, and remember all of the reasons why you are not currently using drugs and alcohol.  Keep these in mind, and use these reasons to stay sober and not touch alcohol at the party.

2. Drink a nonalcoholic beverage and keep the glass in your hand as much as you can.  Most people won’t ask you if you want a drink if they see you with a drink in your hand already.

3. Offer to be a designated driver for others.  There is always a shortage of designated drivers at office parties.  Few people want to be the designated driver at office parties because they want to unwind and have a good time with their co-workers. If you step up to the plate and offer to be the designated driver for your office co-workers and friends, you will be less likely to relapse because your co-workers will be relying on you for a ride.

4. Be sure to decide if the party is really a place that you need to be.  Really ask yourself if it’s worth your while to go to the party, and if you are able to take risk of going to the party.  If it’s not worth the risk to you, then don’t even bother with it.

5. Make a mental checklist of all of the reasons why you are sober.  Really go over these and drill them.  These are your tools and your fail safes for staying sober.  Go over your checklist in your mind and really memorize all of the reasons as to why you are sober and why you need to stay sober.  These will be your tools and your shields to defend yourself from a potential relapse.

Staying sober during the holidays is not always easy.  In fact it is the toughest time that any recovering addict has.  With the above tips though, it does become possible to stay away from drugs and alcohol during this festive, celebratory time.

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