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How to Enjoy a Sober St. Patrick’s Day

Feel like everybody but you is going to drink alcohol this St. Patrick’s Day? It may seem like you’re the only sober person left in your city – or heck, even your country – but that’s simply not the case. In fact, just 20% of adults of adults plan to consume alcoholic beverages on St. Patrick’s Day. Even if your entire family or group of friends typically down brewskies on March 17th, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy this holiday while remaining sober. From documenting the night for pals to transporting folks around town, here are 4 ways to have a blast this St. Patrick’s Day without consuming adult beverages.

Become a Designated Driver

Approximately 1 out of 3 driving-related deaths involve alcohol. If you don’t want your loved ones to become part of that statistic, offer to drive them to and from their St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans. You don’t have to actually attend the events with them unless you’re comfortable doing so; you can bring a book or electronic device and wait in the vehicle until they’re ready to leave.

Want to make some extra cash while you transport intoxicated passengers? Apply to drive for services such as Lyft or Uber.

Photograph Pals

Stay busy during St. Patty’s Day festivities if you want to avoid the urge to drink alcoholic beverages. One way to do this is by grabbing your camera or smartphone and following your friends around as they engage in drunken adventures. Avoid taking photos of anything that may embarrass them or make them uncomfortable the next day, like if they’re throwing up in a potted plant or falling down drunk in the street.

Arrive Prepared

You may find it easier to decline offers for alcoholic drinks if you bring your own beverage with you. Some restaurants don’t allow outside drinks, but you can probably show up with soda, juice, or water if you attend a house party or St. Patrick’s Day parade.

You may also want to bring some healthy snacks with you. Sometimes people mistake hunger for thirst, so you may find it easier to resist beer or whiskey if your belly is full.

Chill With Other Sober People

If you’ve battled  alcohol addiction or abuse in the past, you’re not alone. More than 15 million American adults  have experienced an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), and approximately 1.3 million of them have sought treatment from a facility that specializes in addressing this condition. Depending on how well you’re doing with the long-term treatment of your condition, you may find it stressful to mingle with intoxicated people or attend events where alcohol is present. Luckily, there are tons of people who are also in recovery for AUD, as well as people who have never consumed alcohol in the first place.

Not sure where to find sober folks? Start your search at Alcoholics Anonymous. This well-known association offers meetings  around the world for people struggling with alcohol dependence. Meetings are held 7 days a week, even on holidays, so you can easily find a group of like-minded people to spend time with on March 17th. The organization also offers events for members, such as bowling or swimming, so that may be an option if you don’t want to sit at a meeting.

If you’re religious or don’t mind attending a Christ-based treatment program, you can find sober friends at Celebrate Recovery meetings. Meetings aren’t held as often as Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, but you can request for your local church to launch the program if you don’t already have one in your area.

You don’t have to spend St. Patrick’s Day cuddled up on the couch with your pets – unless you want to, of course. Follow the tips above to have a fun-filled St. Patrick’s Day without consuming a single drop of alcohol.

Author Sarah Lockwood put together The Prevention Coalition after watching her daughter struggle with addiction for years. With The Prevention Coalition, Sarah provides an online forum where loved ones of people dealing with substance abuse can meet and get support.