New Year’s Eve is one of the most popular party days in the world, which makes it an incredibly difficult time for people struggling to recover from alcohol or drug addiction. You’re going to be surrounded by people who are using and your urge to relapse will be strong. However, it’s possible to get through this wild day without giving in to temptation. It requires strong will power and personal integrity, but you can do it.
Reasons People Quit Using Drugs Or Alcohol For New Year’s
People often decide to quit using drugs or alcohol as part of a New Year’s resolution, but struggle to stay true to that resolution when the ball drops. This isn’t unique to people in recovery: studies have shown that over 90 percent of all resolutions fail because people aren’t truly focused on the motivations behind their resolution.
That’s why you should understand why you want to quit using alcohol and drugs. Simply getting pressure from others is rarely enough: there has to be an honest need and desire to quit. The following reasons are some of the popular motivations for quitting every New Year’s:
- Concerns about physical and mental health
- Desire to lose weight caused by excessive alcohol consumption
- New spiritual beliefs
- Problems with family and friends
- Worries about potential legal problems
One of the most popular ways of dealing with cravings is the system known as “DEAD.” Each letter indicates a specific coping mechanism – delay, escape, accept, and dispute. Delay means stopping yourself from using whenever you feel a craving. After about 10-15 minutes, those cravings should pass. Escape is literally that: leaving the situation that is tempting you.
Accept involves the realization that your cravings and urges are normal. They don’t make you a bad person and they won’t “kill” you. Acceptance is a crucially important part of growing past addiction. And finally, dispute is the process of using a new believe, behavior, or counter statement to eliminate your urge to use.
Simple Ways To Stay Sober On New Year’s
Once you’ve decided to stay sober on New Year’s Eve, you need to decide on and implement a method of staying sober. The temptation to relapse will be high, but there are still many ways that you can avoid using alcohol or drugs.
Consider utilizing one or more of the following tips to avoid falling victim to a relapse this New Year’s Eve:
- Host a “sober” party for other people recovering from addiction
- Attend a “marathon” meeting of Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous to help fend of cravings and temptation
- Get out of town and celebrate in a new environment
- Schedule yourself to work on New Year’s day
- Invite sober friends and family over for a “movie and game” night
If you’ve been invited to a party where you know alcohol or drugs may be used, politely decline attending. However, if you do decide to attend the party anyway, try to attend it with a “sober” friend who can help you keep on the right track. In fact, the two of you can watch each others back to make sure you don’t either relapse or do something you’ll regret.
Recovering If You Do Relapse
If you do end up relapsing during New Year’s Eve, you need to avoid panicking or becoming too negative about what has happened. Obsessing over your relapse is likely to cause severe depression and anxiety, feelings that will only contribute to your relapse severity. Simply take a moment to assess the situation and ask yourself some difficult questions:
- How much did I use during my relapse?
- Did I do anything morally or legally improper?
- What caused the relapse? Was it a person, a situation, or a location?
- Am I compelled to continue using or do I want to quit again?
- In what way did my sober preparations fail?
- How can I get sober again (if you’re still using)?
The answers to these questions will be hard for many people to face, but they’re essential. For example, you might find that spending time with your best friend on New Year’s Eve always triggers a relapse. You might have to limit your time with that friend or cut them out of your life.
Staying sober over New Year’s Eve is a noble goal and one that you are more than capable of doing on your own. However, if you’re still worried about relapsing or if you need more motivation, please contact us at DrugRehab.org today. Our specialists understand how difficult it is this time of year and they’re more than capable of helping you during this trying period.