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Come One, Come All! Navigating Holiday Parties With Friends And Family in Recovery

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Holidays, such as the 4th of July, can be tricky for both people in recovery and their loved ones. 

How do you maneuver including your sober friends or family members in parties where alcohol will be served? You want to be able to include them without making a big deal about them not drinking.

Here are 3 ways you can include everyone in your party plans while still being sensitive to your friends and family members that are in recovery:

Provide non-alcoholic options.

  • Have something like lemon-aid in fun containers with added fruit.  It makes it a festive and fun thing to drink.
  • For those guests that do drink, you can have liquor options that would pair well with your lemon-aid.
  • Have recipes for mocktails along with your cocktail recipes that way everyone can make something fun and festive to drink. 
  • If you are not wanting to provide alcohol at your gathering, let guests bring their own and you can provide mixers.   In my friend group, the majority of them keep their liquor in coolers off to the side.  That way there is not as much of a temptation for your sober friend.

Take the focus off of the drinking and have plenty of activities for your guests.

  • Make fun 4th of July themed food such as appetizers and desserts that look like flags or firecrackers. Festive food is just as fun as festive drinks! 
  • Provide fun games such as bags to take the focus off of drinking while allowing guests to interact with each other. 

Encourage your guests to bring a friend.

  • Allow your guest in recovery to bring a sober buddy, that way they have support if they feel they need it.

Wishing you a happy and safe holiday weekend!

Karen Damian has a son in recovery and feels that it is a privilege to share the ups and downs of addiction with other parents.

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