Maintaining Sobriety During Special Occasions

Managing Cravings and Temptation

When you are a recovering addict, maintaining your sobriety can be mentally exhausting on a regular basis let alone during occasions where drinks are flowing. Learning how to properly manage triggers during holidays and special occasions can be the difference between sobriety and relapse. 

There are a number of coping strategies that individuals can implement when fighting the urge to drink or use drugs. When these techniques are put in place, individuals are better able to handle triggers and the temptation to use when they are faced with it. 

There is a fine line between removing/ avoiding certain scenarios that will pressure you and isolating yourself. It’s important that you do not isolate yourself as this can lead to feelings of sadness which can end up in relapse. There is a difference between removing yourself from a situation and isolating yourself; removing yourself simply means that you remain at the event or occasion except you disassociate with those who you feel pressure from while isolating yourself means that you leave the gathering altogether and head to a place where you know you’ll feel sad enough to use again. 

Trigger Management 

When you do find yourself in a position where you are tempted to use, it’s important that you utilize various trigger management tactics in order to maintain your sobriety. Stepping away from the situation and evaluating what your next move will be is an appropriate step to take. Recollecting your thoughts will allow you to make the best possible decision as it relates to maintaining your sobriety.

Since holidays, gatherings, and special occasions pose a higher-than-average threat to your sobriety, it’s important that you take extra measures in order to avoid relapse. 

Some top ways to deal with triggers and temptation during get-togethers and holidays are:

  • Accountability: Stay honest to you and those around you
  • Have a sober friend: Ensuring that at least one other individual at the event is sober will help you maintain your sobriety
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Be mindful
  • Create an exit strategy in the case that you feel overwhelmed
  • Have non-alcoholic drinks available
  • Contact an addiction support counselor or therapist

If you are feeling extremely inundated with stress and anxiety, it’s best that you call it a night and head home as being around an environment that induces triggers can result in relapse. 

Continued Care and Help

Even if you have reached sustained sobriety, it’s important that you maintain it. Attending support groups and speaking with a therapist on a regular basis can help you maintain your abstinence from drug or alcohol abuse. Attending a support group even once weekly can help you stay on track so that you know how to properly manage any sort of temptation when you are faced with it. Managing your sobriety is a life-long journey and one that will come with its ups and downs. 


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.