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How to have a safe and sober holiday

Local experts share their tips on how to be safe and alcohol-free this holiday season

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Everywhere you turn these days you can find the same thing – alcohol, making it especially difficult for those trying to avoid the addictive substance.

Experts say, especially during the holidays, you want to have a game plan going into the holiday party season, to keep yourself and others safe.

"It’s okay to say no, like, you can politely decline that invite, if you feel like, hey, this might be a place that's going to bring up some lots of emotions, or be a trigger for me,” said Tera Wise from CleanSlate Addiction Treatment Centers.

Wise says if you do attend an event with alcohol, plan ahead of what you will say if offered any alcohol and also, an escape plan if you have any triggers.

“Maybe you call a friend, somebody who was in recovery or your support system, hey, let them know I have this engaged this income, this engagement that I have to go to, I'm not sure how it's gonna go,” Wise explains you can say something like, “Saturday at five o'clock, can you kind of be on standby. So if I need to maybe shoot you a quick text, and you can maybe give me a call, and then you know, that's kind of make up a reason for me to leave.”

Other tips include attending 12 Step meetings through Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, held every night including the holidays in person and on zoom.

Recruit a recovery buddy to join you for support, practice self-care on a daily basis and do healthy things for your mind, body, and soul, and choose activities without alcohol so it’s not even an option.

One new bar in Columbus that prides itself on being alcohol-free is The Dry Mill in downtown Columbus.

"We wanted to give the community a place to enjoy themselves without any triggers of alcohol or be around people who may be under the influence,” said Co-Owner David Payne.

Payne explains they have all the fun drinks from N-A Rum and Coke to Bloody Marys, all without alcohol. They also host activity nights like karaoke, to create the same fun bar-like atmospheres for all kinds of people without any alcoholic temptations.

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