While family gatherings at Christmas and Thanksgiving can be stressful, they tend to be far more restrained than New Year’s Eve. The coming of the new year is a time of joy, excitement and letting your hair down. It can present an opportunity to mark a milestone with friends in style; yet if you’re not careful, it might also pose a threat to your sobriety. Here are three tips to help you enjoy New Year’s Eve to the full, without putting your sobriety at risk.

1. Go with a companion who is sober

If you go to a New Year’s Eve event where you expect alcohol or drugs to be consumed, a sober friend can be a crucial source of support. Having someone with you who shares some of your background and understands what you are experiencing makes every aspect of the event easier. It can also ensure that you stay accountable.

2. Be prepared to leave if necessary

To safeguard your sobriety, you sometimes need to leave events where you find your resolve weakening. If your friends are understanding, you can simply tell them the truth. If not, don’t feel guilty about using an excuse. For example, perhaps you promised another friend that you would make an appearance at their party. If you find yourself in a difficult situation, don’t hesitate to leave the event.

3. Choose the right event

Some parties are just not a good choice for people in addiction recovery. Select an event where you can be confident that drugs and alcohol will not be the focus. If you know that friends who could put your sobriety at risk are planning to attend a party, it may be best to go to another event. Remember that sober parties are an option; there are huge numbers of sober parties that take place every New Year’s Eve that can be fantastic fun. It can also be easier to enjoy yourself in circumstances where you don’t have to make such an effort to safeguard your sobriety.

You can let your hair down on New Year’s Eve without taking any chances with your sobriety. You only need to take these tips into account, plan your evening and be careful on the night.