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How to safeguard your sobriety on St. Patrick's Day

There are undoubtedly good times had by all who take part in St. Patrick’s Day. It’s known for lively parties, green beer, and brutal hangovers.

Yet, if you want to stay sober and avoid alcohol, it can pose a challenge. Suppose someone is in recovery from alcoholism, choosing a healthy lifestyle, or recently decided to give up alcohol for whatever reason. Celebrating St. Paddy’s Day without a plan may lead to disaster.

While it is only one day a year, it can quickly derail any progress on sobriety. Fortunately, there are practical approaches you can take to safeguard your sobriety on St. Patrick’s Day sobriety.

For instance, remind yourself why you are sober, and don’t do it alone. You can still have fun and celebrate, but do it with other sober people. Everyone has their reasons for stopping drinking; remind yourself of those reasons and hold yourself accountable.

Know your triggers; it doesn’t matter if you are a recovering addict or have removed alcohol from your life. Be cautious around possible triggers that pose a challenge. Most people in this situation choose to skip the bar and find something fun to do or go to a sober St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Keep a non-alcoholic drink or mocktail in your hand. People will not bother you to ask if you want a drink if you already have something to sip on, like a mocktail. This also leads to planning how to say no. You will encounter social pressure if you go to a bar on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s unavoidable. It’s wise to practice ways to refuse alcohol.

Finally, if all else fails, take a walk outside if you feel overwhelmed. The most straightforward solutions are usually the best. Remove yourself from any situation you know will lead to relapse. This is also why it’s essential to be with a sober friend or loved one; there is accountability and someone to lean on.

Furthermore, speaking about the health and societal benefits of sobriety is crucial. It can often be overlooked that sobriety drastically improves physical and mental well-being and benefits every community by contributing to reducing impaired driving.

Unfortunately, there could be more instances of impaired driving over the St. Paddy’s Day weekend. Oregon’s Impaired Driving Program has worked tirelessly to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road. In 2021, 215 people in Oregon lost their lives due to the actions of impaired drivers. This represented 36% of all traffic fatalities in the state, five percent higher than the national average.

If you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day sober, take steps to safeguard your sobriety and look out for another. If you are consuming alcohol, drink responsibly, know your limits, and do not drink and drive.

Marie Garceau has been working in the field of substance use and addiction recovery for over a decade. She works at Drug Rehab Services, which has compiled one of the largest and most complete directories of drug and alcohol rehabilitation services in the US. She primarily focuses on reaching out to the community and spreading awareness.


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