How to Have a Sober St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is known for going to pubs and drinking pints of beer with your friends. If you are in recovery, on the other hand, you should not feel like you need to miss out on the fun because you can longer drink. You can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by remembering what the holiday is about in the first place and creating your own party where you do not have to worry about being hungover.

You should feel lucky that you no longer have an urge to drink like you used to. Chances are that when you used to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, you would wake up the next morning with a painful hangover. Now that you are in recovery, you can wake up with fond memories of the sober celebrations that you had with your friends and family. Although, it may still be tempting during this time of the year as you may have stopped drinking but it does not mean that others have. It is important to stay far away from pubs or any establishments that sell alcohol. If you see others laughing and having fun while drinking, this can lead to a relapse.

One way that you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is by learning all about the holiday. St. Patrick’s Day may have been popularized by the Irish drinking but there is a whole history behind it. You can find out who the founders of the holiday were, why it came to be, and sober Irish traditions that you can continue for every St. Patrick’s Day. This can mean going to the library, reading an encyclopedia, and finding books on the subject.

You can also host your own St. Patrick’s Day party that will have sober activities to do. There are many ideas you can choose from such as a potluck where everyone who comes attempts to make a traditional Irish dish like Irish stew, corn beef and cabbage, or Irish soda. You can play Irish trivia games to test others on their knowledge of the country as well as a contest to see who can make the best Irish non-alcoholic drink. You can also find Irish parades, festivals, art exhibits, or concerts during the holiday. They can be entertaining to go to and you would still stay loyal to the holiday by celebrating the country that it originated from.

If you absolutely feel the need to go out with your friends during St. Patrick’s Day, volunteer to be the designated driver. That way, you know that you can cannot drink alcohol at this outing as you need to be sober to drink your friends home safety. This will also be another good way of not having to explain to your friends that you are in recovery or not in the mood to drink. You need to take your friends home so it will place real pressure on you to be responsible for them and your own wellbeing. Make sure that any friends you hang out with are those that you can trust. Friends that will not pressure you to drink or wave a pint of beer in front of you. Another idea is to create a St. Patrick’s Day scavenger hunt where you take a bunch of pictures that represent the holiday and post them on Instagram or in your own photo album. It can be things like a four-leaf clover, anything green, gold, a leprechaun, and anything you are lucky to have.

If you feel the need to go to a party

If you feel like you have to go to a party and there may be alcoholic beverages there, take extra precautions. Make sure that you have money with you and the phone for a cab company or ride sharing apps. That way, you can make an exit without having to rely on your friends to bring you home if they have been drinking. If anyone offers you a drink, just refuse them. You do not have to give them a reason as to why you are refusing. You can also bring your own non-alcoholic drink with you whether it is water, juice, soda, or an Irish smoothie recipe that you found in a recipe book.

You also do not have to go out of the house if you do not want to. If you feel like all of the games are centered around drinking, you are better off leaving the party and either going home or going to a 12 step meeting. There will be many people in recovery such as yourself who do not have anywhere to go during the holidays. You can talk about your struggles to other members and hear the solutions that others have come up with. You can choose to stay inside where there is no alcohol in sight and you can just chill. You can fill your house with Irish music like Enya or U2 or discover new Irish music on You can also watch some Irish movies as well that will make you feel good like Once, Sing Street, Brooklyn, Angela’s Ashes, etc. Just because society has turned St. Patrick’s Day into a drinking holiday does not mean that drinking is all you can do. You should celebrate St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate the joys and culture of Ireland and to have fun with your friends and family during your healthy recovery.

Established in 1939, High Watch is the world’s first 12-Step treatment center. Every individual who walks through our doors joins a definitive culture of compassion, dignity, and respect from a genuinely caring staff dedicated to seeing the disease of addiction find remission. Providing proven therapeutic approaches and comprehensive 12-Step education, patients leave High Watch with the confidence to maintain abstinence and live a healthy, happy, sober life. Start your journey today by calling 860.927.3772