How to have a sober Halloween

Photo by Beth Teutschmann on Unsplash

I’m so glad to have Caleb Anderson share his suggestions for a sober Halloween.  As a recovery addict he wants to share how one can live their life alcohol and drug free even during times when our society prefers to use harmful substances to celebrate. Thank you Caleb for offering to write this post for Choices. Your suggestions are spot on.

How to Throw a Spooky, Sober Halloween Soiree

by Caleb Anderson

It’s the witching season again and you’re wondering how to celebrate the spookiest night of the year while sticking to your recovery plan. Well, have no fear. Halloween and sober living can go hand in hand. In fact, you may find that you enjoy the festivities more with a clear mind and a clean body.

But having a party worthy of the holiday means paying attention to the details. In this post we’ll share some terrifying tips for creating the right setting for your sober celebration. Some of these ideas require just a dash of crafting skill, but the shivers you’ll see on your guest’s faces will make the effort more than worthwhile.

Doll Up for the Occasion

There’s no need to spend a fortune to create a delightfully spirited mood at your gathering.
For example, a little creativity can turn a thrift store doll into a haunting apparition that will bring out the frightened child in your adult guests. This is one idea that won’t turn your budget into a horror story. Place one or two of these creepy crawlies in strategic locations and your friends will marvel at your disturbing level of ingenuity.

Get Back to Black

What’s Halloween without ebony accessories? It takes only a modest investment in craft supplies to create all sorts of somber-shaded accents, according to the crafting experts at Redbook. Mix them up with some orange and scarlet decorations and your guests will be thrilled  by your homage to the evening.

Give Your Portraits a Paranormal Touch

This idea is so easy it’s frightening. Have your local pharmacy or photo shop print up some pictures of friends and family in vivid black and white, customize their eyes with a red marker or paint, and display the arresting images around your home in frames from a thrift store or discount retailer. There’s no better way to create maximum fright for a minimum investment. You can thank the folks at Country Living for this simple yet scary idea.

Make the Food a Little Fiendish

We can all thank our lucky stars for food coloring, which makes it easy to give ordinary buffet-style recipes that special Halloween flavor. From eyeball hors d’oeuvres to sinister salsa bites, it only takes a little imagination to make your party foods perfect for Halloween.

Imbibe Alcohol-Free

Who needs spirits when sugar is so affordable? There’s no need to ditch your recovery efforts when you can have a blast with refreshing, alcohol-free libations like these. Serve them up in holiday-appropriate glassware for an extra special touch.

Now for the Serious Stuff

Halloween is meant for fun, not for undoing all of your hard recovery work. You can have a fantastic celebration while remaining true to your sobriety pledge. Just lay down these grounds rules for yourself and your guests:

  • Not only is alcohol verboten, but so are faux alcohol substitutes like near beer. Ditto for those fake champagne bottles loaded with grape juice. We’re for real; visual cues can trigger relapses for those in recovery.
  • Enablers need not darken your doorway. True friends will have no qualms about foregoing drugs or alcohol in support of your efforts to stay clean. If the wrong people show up, then send them on their way.
  • Keeping things lively is non-negotiable. Boredom is the Devil’s brew when you’re trying to avoid temptation. So keep the (sober) good times rolling along.

Halloween doesn’t need addictive substances to be fun for adults. Try these helpful tips to throw a truly ghoulish party and have the time of your life without compromising your recovery goals.


About Caleb: Caleb developed an opiate addiction after being in a car accident. He’s in recovery today and wants to inspire others to overcome their addictions.

Thanks so much for being here Caleb. I hope my readers will contact you for additional advice.

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