by:  Caleb Anderson


As an adult, going out on Halloween so often revolves around copious amounts of alcohol. If you’re in recovery, the best way to celebrate is to throw your own substance-free bash. This ensures you are able to control your environment and not feel pressured to drink.

Here are some tips on cutting loose this Halloween by hosting a party without booze.

The Guest List

Set the tone of your Halloween party ahead of time by purposefully crafting a guest list full of supportive, sober friends that are comfortable having a good time without alcohol. It’s important to open up to your friends, and create a network of people you can communicate with about your recovery. After all, according to a recent article in U.S. News, “your community largely determines the quality of your sobriety.” Avoid inviting friends from your past who may enable you to return to bad habits, and make sure to let your guests know ahead of time that there won’t be any alcohol so don’t show up with their own or seem disappointed.


Create an environment that will get everyone in the party mood. Things like music and lighting can go a long way and there are a ton of fun, DIY décor ideas on Pinterest. Set up a scary Halloween photo booth with lots of fake blood and vampire teeth, and cleverly craft your finger foods to look like body parts. Decorate with pumpkins, spider webs, or skulls, and if you really want to get down, consider turning the place into a haunted house! Let your friends know you’re going all out and have them show off their creativity as well, by hosting a costume contest. Be sure to also make a playlist with hits like Michael Jackson’s thriller so they can dance the night away.

Alcohol Free Drinks

Whatever you do, don’t spend the night concentrating on what you can’t have. Mix it up with non-alcoholic cocktails instead of substitutes that may still contain some traces of alcohol. Get festive and try yummy concoctions like Witches Brew, a deep red drink made mainly of sparkling soda and cranberry juice, Harry Potter’s Butter Beer, a hot chocolate refreshment featuring butterscotch flavors, or a Spiced Cider Punch with apple cider, orange juice, and a variety of spices.

Fun Activities

The idea of socializing sober with a large group of people can be scary at first, but the truth is, a party doesn’t need intoxicants for it to be fun. Set your Halloween get together up for success by orchestrating games that will have everyone in cahoots. Wait until it gets really dark, and sit around and pass the evening telling ghost stories, or playing horror movie trivia. You can also make a Halloween feel box by scrounging up a bunch of slimy food items, and seeing if your guests can guess what they are while blindfolded. Whether you’re reenacting a murder mystery, or projecting a scary movie in the pitch dark of night, make sure your friends are thoroughly entertained by planning out activities in advance.

If you exude confidence, and are ready to have a fun Halloween night without alcohol, chances are your friends will embrace the evening in similar fashion.


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


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© 2017, Linda Girgis MD. All rights reserved.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Linda Girgis, MD, FAAFP

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