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St. Patrick’s Day sobriety tips 

Posted 3/7/24

St. Patrick’s Day is generally associated with heavy drinking, lively parties, good food and big celebrations. Most bars, pubs and restaurants are banking on big alcohol sales. While there are …

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St. Patrick’s Day sobriety tips 


St. Patrick’s Day is generally associated with heavy drinking, lively parties, good food and big celebrations. Most bars, pubs and restaurants are banking on big alcohol sales. While there are family-friendly celebrations and some sober events, the day can potentially present challenges for sober people. 

Whether you are new to sobriety, overcame drug or alcohol addiction, or chose sobriety for personal lifestyle choices, there are obstacles and triggers along the way. Yet being sober does not mean you give up on fun and avoid community and gatherings. There are practical approaches you can use to protect your sobriety. 

For instance, remind yourself why you are sober, and don’t do it alone. You can still have fun and celebrate but do it with other sober people. Everyone has their reasons why they stopped drinking; remind yourself of those reasons and hold yourself accountable.  

Know your triggers; it doesn’t matter if you are a recovering addict or have removed alcohol from your life. Be cautious around possible triggers that pose a challenge. Most people in this situation choose to skip the bar and find something fun to do or go to a sober St. Patrick’s Day celebration. 

Keep a non-alcoholic drink or mocktail in your hand. People will not bother you to ask if you want a drink if you already have something to sip on, like a mocktail. 

This also leads to planning how to say no. You will encounter social pressure if you go to a bar on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s unavoidable. It’s wise to practice ways to refuse alcohol. 

Finally, if all else fails, take a walk outside if you feel overwhelmed. The most straightforward solutions are usually the best. Remove yourself from any situation you know will lead to relapse. This is also why it’s essential to be with a sober friend or loved one; there is accountability and someone to lean on.

Anyone who chooses to become sober can reap the benefits. Along with the many health advantages, such as better sleep, mental well-being, mental focus and weight loss, there is an essential societal gain. 

Being sober on St. Patrick’s Day or any day removes all chances of impaired driving. On days that promote heavy alcohol use, there could be more instances of drunk or drugged driving.

In New York State, slightly more than 30 percent of the fatal crashes are alcohol-related, according to the New York State Police. In the state, a driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle may be considered legally impaired if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds 0.05 percent. They are legally intoxicated if their BAC is 0.08 percent or greater. 

In Pennsylvania, 27 percent of fatal crashes are alcohol-related, although that’s down from 2003-2011, when the state was fourth-highest in the nation for drunk-driving fatalities, according to law firm Handler, Henning and Rosenberg. The legal limit for a DUI conviction is 0.08 percent, although commercial drivers can be convicted with a BAC of 0.04, according to the PA Department of Transportation.

This St. Patrick’s Day, if you are celebrating, make responsible choices to protect your sobriety. If you are consuming alcohol, drink responsibly, know your limits, and look out for one another.

Marie Garceau has been working in the field of substance use and addiction recovery for over a decade. She works at DRS and primarily focuses on reaching out to the community and spreading awareness.

My Views, sobriety, St. Patrick's Day, Marie Garceau, DRS, SAMHSA hotline


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