In recovery? Have a plan for holiday parties, says Project Recovery host

Nov 24, 2021, 3:57 PM | Updated: 4:02 pm
Holiday parties...
Stock photo, Canva.

SALT LAKE CITY — For some people, recovering from addiction during the holidays can create risky situations. So how can you safely attend holiday parties if you’re recovering? How can you make sure you’re supporting your friend or family member who is going through recovery? 

To answer those questions and more, Casey Scott, who hosts the KSL podcast Project Recovery along with Dr. Matt Woolley, joins Tim and Amanda of Utah’s Morning News to discuss his recovery advice during the holidays.

Bring your own drink

Scott’s advice is to start with a plan.

“In my recovery, I found that I’m a big fan of routine,” he said. “And when you go into the holidays, sometimes your routine is changed. You’re no longer checking into your job and doing all that stuff, and you’re left to your own devices.”

He also recommended bringing your own drink to parties where alcohol is served if you are in recovery. Don’t place the onus on your hosts to provide a beverage for you.

“Bring a seltzer water, bring a Diet Coke,” Scott said. “Sometimes the thing for alcoholics in recovery to do is walk around with water. And if somebody comes up to you and asks you, ‘Hey, do you want a drink?’ You can say, ‘I’m good.’ So there’s certain responses that you can use that can really help you out.”

Irish exit

Tim suggested taking alcohol out of the beverage selection at holiday parties.

“We’ve had to do that in the past with members of our family, and actually everybody bought in, and it made for a nice moment,” he said. Scott added that you may have a problem if it seems the party isn’t much fun without alcohol.

Also, he said he never wanted to change the party plans of others because he was a guest in recovery.

“We wanted to have a party, but Casey’s coming so we can’t have the party we want. I like to take the ownership of my recovery. So I go in there and I let everybody know I’m in recovery.”

Lastly? Have an exit plan — and go with a sober buddy to the party.

“My girlfriend’s my sober buddy. If we’re at a party and it seems to be getting out of control, I have one of those looks. I just look at her and go, I think we’re done,” he said.


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