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After St. Patrick’s Day, We Reflect on How to Stay Sober During Holidays

How does a recovering alcoholic avoid the bars, parties and shenanigans that St. Patrick’s Day brings? The Council on Compulsive Gambling in New Jersey has a few suggestions for you. Although the celebration has come and gone, it kicks off an entire spring and summer season of heavy-drinking holidays. Keep this tips by your side to stay on track with recovery.


  • Have a sober party and do something fun with others who are in recovery. Plan a non-drinking get-together for your support system you’ve built and make sure not to invite someone who might want to drink.
  • To improve your commitment to sobriety, attend more 12-step meetings. This is where you can meet new people and expand your circle of sober friends.
  • Plan ahead with excuses and a list of reasons to why you can’t attend a party. Don’t force yourself into making an impulsive decision that could put your sobriety at risk because you feel guilty and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by not attending the party.
  • If you do wind up at a party, bar or parade, make sure you come up with a quick exit strategy in case you feel tempted to drink. A good excuse for refusing drinks is to declare yourself the designated driver — no one will ask questions, guaranteed.
  • Find a non-alcoholic indulgence, like delicious cuisine. Celebrate the upcoming holidays with food you’ve never tried before, your grandfather’s famous BBQ or your favorite dessert. Treating yourself like this can help with any feelings of missing out that might crop up.

It’s worth noting that increased alcohol consumption can also affect a person’s capacity to control their gambling. The more you drink, the more you gamble and the more you spend, whether it’s casino gambling in Atlantic City or gambling for sports in Monmouth and other surrounding counties in New Jersey.

Whatever your issue is, the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ) is here to help NJ residents learn how to overcome a gambling problem. If you’d like more information, call our 24/7 hotline, 1-800-GAMBLER, or visit us online at