Super Bowl Sunday is commonly known as the drunkest holiday in America, over 3 million gallons of beer is consumed on this day alone. That’s almost enough to fill 500 Olympic sized pools. If you’re newly sober, this can be a specifically challenging day to get through. We understand that it can be difficult to participate in the cultural phenomenon of the Super Bowl without also having a drink in your hand, but it doesn’t have to be!

In the world of recovery, it’s a fact that you can go anywhere and do anything and remain sober, so long as you are in fit spiritual condition. At Believe Treatment Center, we know this to be true. But for those of us just starting out on this journey, what do we do?

If you’re newly sober, maybe you should consider skipping the party altogether this year. Ask yourself, would you feel comfortable saying no when a drink is passed your way? If you are unsure, we suggest that you stay away from these parties until you have a stronger handle on your recovery. Chances are, you have sober friends who are watching the game as well. See what your fellows in recovery are doing, because sober people have parties too!

It can be dangerous for a newly sober person to attend an event that’s fueled by alcohol, and we strongly suggest avoiding it for a while. However, if you are determined to go to a party where there will be alcohol, we have a few strategies for making it through the event clean and sober. Remember, if you are in a 12-step program, always call your sponsor and run your decision by them as well.

Start your day right

We recommend attending a 12-step meeting the morning of the big game, so you can be in the right head-space when you attend the party. Here, you can express any concerns to your support group, and get some good advice on how to stay sober if you’re going to a party with alcohol.

Have a wing-man

We recommend attending the party with a wing-man who will stay sober with you. People in recovery are everywhere, so we recommend that you seek out other people in sobriety to stick with for the night. It’s always easier when you are not alone. Support is key. We also recommend having sober people you can call if things get difficult. Your fellow 12-step members are happy to help!

Have an exit plan

It’s good to have a clear exit strategy, just in case you begin to feel uncomfortable. If it turns out to be more difficult than you thought it would be, it’s best to be able to leave at any point. We suggest having your own mode of transportation to make this a non-issue. If you do not have a car, you can arrange to have a sober support come and pick you up, and Lyft and Uber are always safe options.

Focus on the food, not the drinks

While there is a lot of beer consumed on game day, there is also an astronomical amount of food consumed. There are over one billion wings eaten during Super Bowl Sunday! These events generally include tons of delicious snacks, take advantage of this.

Always have a cup in your hand

Hosts always want to make sure their guests are taken care of, so if you do not have a drink in your hand, chances are you will be offered a beer. You can avoid this by always having a full glass of soda or water in your hand. People are less likely to offer you a drink if they see you already have a full glass, whether it’s alcoholic or not is not usually an issue. To be safe, don’t pick up anyone’s drink but your own.

Keep in touch with your recovery pals

It’s always smart to slip outside to give your sober supports a call if you get uncomfortable. Let them know how you’re feeling, they can most likely relate. Reaching out is always a very helpful thing when you feel like you’re slipping.

Have fun!

Enjoy the snacks, watch the game (and the commercials!), spend time with friends. This day does not have to be daunting, and you can have safe and sober fun in any environment you are in, if you are prepared. One last thing, it has been reported that 7 million Americans will not make it to work the following day, so be grateful that you can wake up Monday morning refreshed and feeling good!

What has helped you out in the past? If you have any other suggestions, we would love to hear them! Happy Super Bowl everyone, stay safe out there.

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