A 1993 research article on 1,250 college students is one of many studies that confirmed Halloween is a holiday where alcohol and drug consumption are rampant. This still rings true today and makes it challenging to celebrate and enjoy Halloween during recovery from substance abuse. 

Of course, the true spirit of Halloween is found in the witty costumes and the spooky decorations. You don’t need to consume alcohol or drugs to make Halloween an enjoyable event. Nevertheless, there are real risks around substance consumption that you may fall victim to inadvertently. 

Thus, vigilance is the key to celebrating the holiday. Here are some tips to help you through Halloween during recovery: 

Steer clear of peer pressure 

Peer pressure often runs high during holidays like Halloween. Your friends or loved ones may entice you by saying: 

  • “One drink can’t hurt you.” 
  • “Come on, it’s Halloween! You can let go every once in a while, right?” 
  • “It’s just one day. You can get back to recovery right away!” 

These comments may mean well, since they want you to enjoy Halloween, too. However, notice that these statements can apply to practically any other area in your life. 

Giving in because of what they said can result in you using the same reasons yourself. This makes celebrating Halloween on recovery significantly more difficult to continue. 

Take the first step and avoid peer pressure altogether. Here’s how you can do it: 

  • Remind yourself to say, “No, thanks.” There’s no need to explain why you’re refusing the offer. A simple no will suffice. 
  • Stay with loved ones or friends who are supportive of your recovery. They know that you have to avoid substances to recover successfully and will never think to pressure you. 
  • Consider avoiding parties. Everyone is expected to drink in a party. It doesn’t have to involve a person actively pressuring you to drink. Just being surrounded by people drinking can have an influence on you. Thus, you may have to rethink joining that party you were invited to. 

These suggestions may sound like they take a lot of fun out of Halloween, especially since it’s a social event. However, remember that Halloween is about dressing up as your favorite character through a witty costume. 

Drinking and consuming other substances is optional at best. But to truly celebrate the essence of Halloween, socialize and mingle with people whose costumes you like. 

Check the candy you receive 

On September 2022, 8 students at the Litchfield Community Learning Center in Akron, Ohio, were hospitalized after consuming cannabis gummies. Gummy candies are an example of “edibles,” which are foods that contain cannabis. 

Edibles can come in various forms, including: 

  • Pastries 
  • Brownies 
  • Other baked foods 

Usually, your peers will let you know that they’re giving you edibles. Sometimes, however, you’ll receive food that may actually be edible without your knowledge. It’s also possible that you’ll take a bite off of a brownie or some food on a baking tray during a party that secretly contains cannabis. 

Thus, it’s important that you exercise caution whenever you receive candy. To do that, here are some things you should remember: 

  • Wrapped candies, chocolates, and other sweets by reputable companies should be fine. On the other hand, you should take homemade foods with a grain of salt. 
  • If it’s homemade, ask the person who gave it to you if it contains cannabis. Explain that you’re recovering from substance abuse and that you can’t risk consuming a drug by accident. 
  • When in a rowdy party, try to avoid the food stand. You may end up hungry during the party, but you’ll also guarantee a sober Halloween. 

Be cautious of drinks given to you 

In the same light, you should also be careful of drinks that may be given to you. This is especially in parties where the punch bowl may contain some trace of alcohol. Some people can mix the drinks so well that you’ll barely taste the whiskey or gin that was mixed in. 

To protect yourself, here are some key things you need to remember: 

  • Drink only from pre-packaged juices or bottles. Avoid drinks that have signs of being previously opened, as it may have been spiked. 
  • Avoid homemade beverages from a party. You can never be too sure if the punch bowl has alcohol in it. 
  • Bring your own drinks. The best guarantee of protection is to drink only the beverages you brought yourself. 

Some people, however, may have nefarious reasons and spike your drink without your knowing. Hence, always keep a watchful eye on your beverage. 

Open up about your recovery  

If you do decide to accept the candies or beverages given to you, it’s alright. Discerning which foods or drinks are safe to consume for you is vital if you choose to celebrate Halloween with some decreased restraint. 

In any case, it’s always highly advisable to open about your recovery when you receive such gifts while celebrating Halloween. This lets your peers know about your situation and act accordingly around you. For instance, they may cross out offering you edibles or cocktails and, instead, give you juice or sweets that don’t contain cannabis. 

However, it’s also possible that they simply don’t care, or may think that you just want to miss out on the fun. This may be discouraging to you, but it can eliminate some risks of being offered substances. 

Stay with loved ones 

Who else better to celebrate the spookiness of Halloween than with your family and friends? 

Indeed, there are a lot of people out there from all walks of life who come in interesting costumes, have compelling personalities, and be overall fun to be with. Unfortunately, not all of them will be supportive of your path to recovery and may even tempt you to consume substances during the celebration. 

On the other hand, your loved ones are significantly more likely to support you in your recovery – and in, fun ways, too! You can bake delectable brownies, cook up some delicious food, and whip up drinks, all without substances. 

Staying with your loved ones during Halloween makes you realize not only that you can have fun without substances. It also shows you the value of your loved ones in helping you through your recovery. 

Keep professional help on speed dial during Halloween

When celebrating Halloween recovering, substance abuse is one of the biggest risks you can face. If you’ve consumed a substance by accident while celebrating, it’s best to act fast to make sure you stay on your path to recovery. At California Recovery Center, we attend to each client based on their needs. If you happen to consume alcohol or a drug while celebrating Halloween during recovery, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our outpatient and inpatient treatment options will help you get back to recovering right away. 

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