Addiction Recovery
people laughing with sparklers about how to have a sober new year's eve
By BrightView
Published: December 26, 2022
Updated: November 29, 2022

One of the most challenging aspects of being in recovery is learning new ways to enjoy your time with family and friends. The good news is, there are many activities that can be fun, rewarding, and not put your recovery at risk. In fact, you may find something brand new that you will love. The most tricky time, especially for someone who is newly in recovery, is New Year’s Eve. If you or a loved one have just completed inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment, it is vital to have a plan for enjoying your evening in a safe and healthy way. Staying sober on New Year’s Eve is easier than you think as long as you know some tips and ideas that will help you have fun without drugs or alcohol.

Things to Do on New Year’s Eve Without Drinking

Even though, for many people, New Year’s Eve is a time to party and drink, there are lots of activities you can do which do not put your recovery in jeopardy. Some of these are:

  • Have a game night – We are living in the golden age of tabletop games. If you are bored by the standard offerings, check out a local game store or an online game shop to check out the fun (and often hilarious) games that can make your New Year’s Eve memorable.
  • Host a fancy party – Get your sober friends and family together for a fun and classy time as you dress in your very best and nibble on exotic appetizers. Serve up a charcuterie board or a ten-course tasting menu and live your upscale dining fantasies.
  • Movies and snacks – Curl up with a cozy blanket, some snacks, and a few good movies. Ask a few good friends to join you while you laugh, cry, and enjoy some great cinema from the comfort of your own home.

Tips for Safeguarding Your Recovery on New Year’s Eve

It is totally natural to be concerned about staying sober on New Year’s Eve, and having a plan for how to keep things on the right track is the best way to proceed. Here are some tips to help you have fun while also staying accountable and safe:

  • Make plans with people you know who are also committed to staying sober. Hang out with friends from a support group or trusted loved ones who are supportive of your recovery.
  • Avoid temptation. If you know there will be alcohol or drugs somewhere, don’t go. No social event is worth risking your recovery. Give yourself permission to politely decline invitations that could lead to an unsafe situation for you. You are worth it.
  • Have an emergency plan in case you find yourself tempted to drink or use substances. Plan ahead with a sober friend or family member that you know you can call any time to talk with you or even come pick you up if you need to get out of a situation.
  • Be easy on yourself, especially if this is your first New Year’s Eve in recovery. Part of the process is accepting that things are going to feel different or weird sometimes but that you are doing what you need to do to stay healthy and safe. Do things that help you remember why you want to stay in recovery.

BrightView Can Help with Treatment for Alcohol or Substance Use

At our treatment centers, we treat you like a person and addiction like a disease. If you or a loved one has been struggling with alcohol or substance use, reach out to us at 888.501.9865 and make this New Year’s Eve the best one yet.