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The celebration we now know as Halloween began thousands of years ago with the Celtic tradition of Samhain. This festival marked the end of the harvest, which also began a season of darkness, death, cold, and dreariness. It was considered to be the time when the boundaries between life and death are diluted and spirits of the past roam the earth.
Many cultures around the world have similar celebrations, all near the end of October or the beginning of November. Today, Halloween is celebrated on October 31.
In the United States, Halloween is typically celebrated with parties, dressing up in costumes, and trick-or-treating. Drinking and substance use can easily sneak their way into Halloween celebrations, especially theme parties. To help you avoid using alcohol or drugs during Halloween, here are some ways to celebrate that are frighteningly fun and involve no spooky substances.
Host your own substance-free Halloween party! Tell your guests to pick a great costume and visit your venue of choice for a fun fall-themed bash. Serve candy, caramel apples, and other fall favorites. You can host a haunted house or hayride, go bobbing for apples, or play board games with a Halloween theme. All your guests can take a turn telling scary stories, or you could entertain your guests with real or imagined stories of your own.
Your party can still be plenty scary without the risk of alcohol or other substances. Make sure that your guests know not to bring any drinks or substances and that sober fun is the goal!
When trick-or-treaters come around, be the house they all talk about. Have your candy ready and your place decorated. If the trick-or-treater’s age is appropriate, you may even find a way to scare your audience.
Be wary of scaring kids too much – perhaps you can drop a fake spider from a string, have a “statue” come to life on cue, or enthusiastically play a spooky character from a Halloween movie. Whatever you do to be the best house on the block, you do not need to break the bank. Best of all, you may end up having lots of fun meeting the people in your neighborhood.
Get some snacks, cuddle up on the couch, and enjoy a scary movie marathon this Halloween!
Most haunted houses and other large venues that do Halloween-themed events will not have alcohol available for patrons. If they do, they may have limits for purchase. Either way, you can have a good time and get scared without any alcohol or other substances. You may find that you love haunted houses or visiting places in your town that were supposedly haunted by ghosts.
Find a friend and offer to drive to an eerie location this Halloween. Every city in the United States seems to have at least one scary location that the locals know about, even if they embellish its history a little. You can drive at night to see these eerie places but be sure to have a phone, a buddy, and a plan to stay safe just in case. Going to places that are purposefully dangerous rather than just eerie is not recommended, especially at night.
Amusement parks that stay open on Halloween are awesome. Some amusement parks have special night hours just for Halloween. You will be able to enjoy the rides, eat amusement park junk food, and see all the festive decorations. You can even wear a costume all day if you would like! Just be careful not to lose any pieces of your costumes on the roller coaster.
Perhaps you are someone who simply does not like Halloween and does not enjoy being scared. That is totally fine. You certainly do not have to celebrate Halloween. Have a cozy night in with a self-care routine or fun activity planned, or cook a nice meal for you to enjoy.
If you are not into trick-or-treating, you can leave a bowl of candy with a note indicating to kindly take one, or you can leave your porch light off altogether. No one can force you to celebrate Halloween, and it is okay if you do not like it. If people are trying to coerce you into celebrating with them, you have every right to say no. Do your best ghost impression and disappear for the night!
Even though Halloween is often celebrated with alcohol and other substances, you can enjoy a sober Halloween this year. Taking time to relax at home or plan your own special Halloween celebration is an excellent choice. You’re avoiding a night of scary consequences from using alcohol or drugs, and that’s a great step forward if you struggle with addiction issues. If you’re having a hard time avoiding substances or realize that you don’t know how to have fun without them, call us at RECO Intensive. We understand that Halloween and many other celebrations seem to be synonymous with substance use, and we can help you get through these challenging times. At RECO Intensive, our professional staff and experienced alumni can create a treatment plan that is specifically catered to you and your needs. With our many therapies and forms of treatment, we know you’ll leave with strategies for success. Call us today at (561) 464-6533.
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