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Boos Before Booze: Celebrating Halloween in Recovery

Adult-oriented festivities typically offer alcohol, among other indulgences. If you, like many people, prefer to stay sober, family and child-oriented gatherings can help you escape temptation.

Lots of us have fond memories of wild parties and mischievous teenage antics on Halloween. Like with any holiday party, adult-oriented festivities offer lots of liquor, among other indulgences.

If you, like many people, prefer to stay sober, family and child-oriented gatherings help you escape temptation. If you have children, family, or close friends that do, spend some time with them! Or, gather with sober friends and try out some of these spooky-season activities. 

Carve Pumpkins

A Halloween classic. The chance to make a mess (put down some newspapers!) is fun for all ages. Keep it simple and make classic faces out of basic shapes. Carve “boo!” and other messages for the trick-or-treaters to feast their eyes. Or, try to match the master carvers and get artsy with intricate designs, multiple layers, and mind-blowing tricks with lights and shadows. 

Horror Movie Marathons

Hollywood puts out dozens of horror flicks each year. Get together with fellow film aficionados and revisit classics or catch up on new releases you couldn’t see throughout the year. Streaming services make it easy to host a spooky movie night. 

If you can’t decide what to watch, make a game of it. Have everyone write down the movies they want to see and gather them all up. Then draw names out of a hat till the early hours of the morning.

Host Your Own Sober Party

If you can’t resist a party on a holiday, host one yourself. As the host, you control every aspect of the event and keep drugs and alcohol away. Decor, food, games, and drinks are at your discretion. 

You can also set up a bring-your-own-beverage (BYOB) party. Have everyone keep their drinks in their hands to limit temptations. A big bowl of non-alcoholic sweet pumpkin punch never hurts the party spirit either. 

Invite friends who support you in your sobriety and keep you on the straight and narrow all night. 

Make and Bake

Autumn’s a time for treats! Spend the day in the kitchen where you can whip up bat-shaped cookies, apple pies, pumpkin brownies, and caramel apples. The last ones are an autumn staple full of more sugary goodness than any Halloween candy. 

You can always hand out extras to trick-or-treaters. Health-conscious parents will undoubtedly appreciate home-baked goods (though expect some reasonable safety concerns and have packaged alternatives on hand). 

Pass Out Candy

If you have happy memories of Halloween nights gone by, dressed in costumes and gathering sweets, then you can pay it forward. And if you don’t, then you can give the next generation the Halloween you deserved (and have a bit of fun yourself). 

Use the night as an opportunity to spread the word about your favorite obscure treats. Or, become the neighborhood favorite as you hand out the full-sized candy bars that the children always appreciate. Just make sure that everyone takes just one!

Visit a Haunted House

If you need more ghouls and ghosts than movies in your house can give you, then find yourself a haunted one. Professional costumers and makeup artists work long hours to deliver scary (but safe!) experiences inside everyday homes. Ambient screams, dried blood, dust-streaked cobwebs, and more will put you in the Halloween mood. 


Here’s another chance to pay it forward. If you’ve hit rock bottom in the past and needed help, you can lift others up during the holidays. Volunteer at homeless shelters and charities to brighten up a dark night for the less fortunate. They’re often understaffed during the holidays and will appreciate the extra hands. You might meet some people who share similar interests to invite to other sober events in years to come. 

For something more seasonal, sign up to help run one of the free neighborhood events. Local schools, libraries, churches, parks, and recreation centers often put on their own celebrations. They could use all the help they can get! 

Try to volunteer at one of the haunted houses if you have a penchant for the performative arts. Whether you run lights and sound behind the scenes, decorate beforehand, or clean up afterward, they’re sure to appreciate the help.

Get to Bed Early

There’s no shame in doing nothing, either. We love the holidays, but no one’s obligated to socialize. Get some rest if you need it. Life is stressful, and you’ve earned a bit of a break. 

Your co-workers may come in the next day bleary-eyed with coffee in hand. But you jump into the morning with a smile and look forward to planning a Thanksgiving bash. After all, if you have pulled yourself out of addiction, you have a lot to be thankful for.

Purposes Recovery Knows Sobriety is a Year-Round Journey

Follow us for more information about staying sober. Remember, our medical detox center in Los Angeles offers more than advice. We also provide luxury rehab. Los Angeles patients know they can come to us for the customized, high-quality care they deserve. 

We know how hard you work to stay sober before and after treatment. Read through our blogs and social media pages to find answers to questions you may have. 


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If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use disorder, request a confidential call from our addiction treatment center in Los Angeles CA. Our team is ready to guide you through understanding your treatment options in a supportive and understanding environment. Taking this step is a sign of strength and the beginning of your path to a healthier, brighter future.

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