There’s just one more day left in the year, and your New Year’s Eve plans are either in progress or already set in place. Whether you’re thinking of ringing in the new year publicly or privately, you’ll have to ask yourself a question: “Will I be drinking?” Perhaps the opening minutes of 2017 are now a blur, and you woke up late Sunday morning with a hangover and little or no recollection of what you did the night before. Or maybe you’re in recovery from alcoholism and looking for fun ways to ring in the new year without a drop of liquor for the first time in years.

Alcohol is a common staple for holiday celebrations, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have control over how much you drink. In fact, you don’t have to drink at all. You can say goodbye to 2017 and celebrate the first hours of 2018 while sober. You can enjoy yourself with friends and family, and remember your time together the next day. You can even wake up on Monday morning feeling refreshed and headache free. There are several ways you can monitor and control your alcohol intake during the New Year’s festivities this week. Here are a couple tips for safe partying:

Complete Alcohol Abstinence

If you’re used to drinking during celebratory events, ringing in the new year sans alcohol may seem a little extreme, but it’s certainly not impossible. There are many outdoor New Year’s Eve venues that don’t even allow alcohol. Check your local online listings to find a venue near you. If you prefer a more party-like atmosphere, you can host a game night with mocktails and invite family and friends. You can have just as much fun — if not more — than you would at a party or club with alcohol, and you’ll be able to remember it all the next day.

Whether you favor the classics like Monopoly or Jenga, or a more modern game like Cards Against Humanity or Pillars, you can enjoy some friendly competition and camaraderie with a sober mind. And if you prefer a game that will get you moving around, consider hosting a dance party with a video game like Dance Dance Revolution or Just Dance.

How to Celebrate New Year’s Sober

Drink in Moderation*

Perhaps you don’t routinely binge drink or misuse alcohol. Maybe December 31 is the only time of year when you typically have one too many. Maybe going to a club or party and drinking are musts for New Year’s Eve. Or, maybe you’re in favor of hosting a house party, but you can’t do it without offering alcohol. If that’s the case, you can find ways to drink in moderation with some New Year’s Eve drinking tips:

  • Set a Limit: Not everyone has the same tolerance level for alcohol, so it’s important to know your limit and set it before you drink. Then, stick to it throughout the night. It will also help to have someone with you to hold you accountable.
  • Drink Slowly: According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a standard drink equates to 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. So drink slowly and don’t binge! Binge drinking is defined as drinking more than four drinks in two hours for women and five drinks in two hours for men.

*While some people can manage their alcohol intake, it’s more of a struggle for others, and just like every other substance, alcohol can be both addictive and dangerous. So it’s important to recognize if and when it’s time to seek help.

With these New Year’s safety tips, you can ring in 2018 responsibly. But maybe New Year’s Eve isn’t the only time of year that you struggle to regulate your alcohol intake. Perhaps you couldn’t control your alcohol use at all over the last 12 months. If you’re battling substance abuse or addiction, The Recovery Village can help. With comprehensive treatment programs across the country for drug abuse and alcohol addiction, there’s a great chance you’ll find a program to meet your needs. Call today to jumpstart your recovery. There’s no better way to start the new year.