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How to Have a Safe and Sober New Years Eve

Updated on November 15, 2015
Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah has several alcoholic relatives and became active in Al-anon, for families of alcoholics, over 34 years ago, often helping others.

New Years is Fun to Celebrate


Time for a Fresh Start

In our country, and many other parts of the world, New Year's Eve is almost synonymous with getting drunk and acting crazy. Many people who behave rationally and stay sober most of the year, feel free to make fools of themselves on New Year's Eve. In fact, I've heard members of Alcoholics Anonymous refer to New Year's Eve as "amateur night"! By this they mean that even people who are not "experienced" drinkers choose New Year's Eve as the one time a year to get drunk. But is this really necessary in order to have a good time? Are there other, more meaningful ways to have a memorable New Year's Eve without getting drunk?

Even though New Year's Eve is a special time we look forward to each year, we can still stay safe and sober on this holiday. It marks the beginning of a fresh start in life and the end of the old behaviors. If the past year has been difficult, it is the opportunity to put the past behind us. If we are longing for better times in the future, New Year's Eve is an opportunity to have a clean beginning.

Sober Entertainment

There are many safe and sober activities that are fun on New Year's Eve. Instead of getting drunk this year, why not have your family or sober friends join you for an evening of games, videos and watching the ball drop in Times Square on television? Why not decorate cookies, or put together a gingerbread house? Or roll back the area rugs, put on some music and dance? Have your guests share their New Years Resolutions. Everyone could bring their favorite snacks, you could put out some paper plates, and all of you could enjoy an easy-going evening of entertainment! Round out the evening's entertainment with some fun hats, and crazy noise-makers to enjoy at midnight!

Go to a Sober AA New Years Eve Party

If you're a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, sober New Year's Eve dances are held in many cities. They are usually reasonably priced, a lot of fun, and often including a buffet dinner, music and dancing. You'll also know that you'll be in the company of many other people who are laughing, having fun, and staying sober!

This Book May Help You Learn How Others Learned to Live Sober

Living Sober
Living Sober

To you feel depressed or sad over the idea that you cannot or should not drink alcohol over the holidays? Learn how many other people have learned how to live a sober life. This book from Alcoholics Anonymous will help you discover that people can have a wonderful and sober life at the same time.


New Years Eve Religious Services

Other people enjoy spending New Year's Eve reflecting on the past year and expressing gratitude for the good things that happened during the year. They may do this at home with their family, or they may attend services at their church, synagogue or mosque. New Year's Eve is the perfect time to put your life in perspective!

There are many positive ways to celebrate the start of the new year, without getting drunk or putting your life in danger by going out on the road. Find out if your religious institution is going to have a special celebration on New Year's Eve.

Keep Your Teens Safe and Sober!

If you have teenagers in your life, New Year's Eve might be a good time to host a sober party for them. Many of them may want to do something special and fun for the evening, but they don't have much experience with alternatives to getting drunk. (After all, isn't that what they always see on television and in the movies?) If you are a parent, Scout leader, Young Life advisor or have teenage relatives, this is a great opportunity to model how people can have fun with their friends, and stay sober while doing it!

Whatever you decide to do, have fun but please stay safe this New Years Eve!

Learn How to Talk to Your Kids About Risky Behaviors

I've Got This Friend Who: Advice for Teens and Their Friends on Alcohol, Drugs, Eating Disorders, Risky Behavior, and More
I've Got This Friend Who: Advice for Teens and Their Friends on Alcohol, Drugs, Eating Disorders, Risky Behavior, and More

New Year's Eve, high school proms, and other special occasions often end tragically for teenagers. Learn how to talk to your teens about avoiding risky behavior and keeping themselves, and their friends, safe.



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    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thanks! I agree that it is hard to stay sober unless you surround yourself with people who are not drinking. This article will help people all the time, not just on New Years Eve.

    • ezzly profile image

      ezzly 2 years ago

      This is a great article for encouraging sobriety :) I read an article recently about the new places popping up to have fun other than going to the pub, the idea is that you can see a comedy gig or music and be surrounded by other non drinkers. It's very hard to stay off drink if others around you are drinking and trying to encourage you to have a drink!

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      I agree that so many people make fool of themselves over the holidays. More people need to realize that they can enjoy themselves without getting sloppy drunk.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      I am glad you wrote the Deborah, for all the people who make fools of themselves on Hollidays where the sole purpose of going to a party is to get drunk.

      I am sure sure hope that St. Patrick's day is an exception, and everyone can forget the beer. Of course! You guessed it, I don't like beer.

      Does anyone remember "Green Rivers?" That was a tasty drink when I lived in Illinois.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      I realize we are past New Year's and Christmas, but other holidays where drinking is a big part of the celebration are coming up. St. Patrick's day and green Irish beer, for example. Hopefully people will think moderation and avoid accidents and arguments. This article has some very good suggestions and I agree that all celebrations need to focus more on other aspects of the celebration instead of making alcohol the main activity. Sharing.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      I'm glad to hear that so many people are planning a low-key New Years Eve. That is the safest choice!

    • Hackslap profile image

      Harry 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Well I'm headed to a very casual house party this NYE to watch the Sydney Harbour getting mashed up at crowds at Circular Quay or spending $1000 on a cruise this year... keeping it simple n casual and being safe .:)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      New Year's Eve is indeed a grand time for a new beginning, for a chance to begin a better future--well put, and thanks for highlighting the top now!

      Happy New Year and may you and yours have a beginning to the year that allows you to live with depth rather than flounder in the shallows!

    • Nancy Owens profile image

      Nancy Owens 4 years ago from USA

      Hello! Great tips.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Deborah-Diane, this is an excellent hub for all to read, especially those who connect New Year's Eve to partying and celebrating.

      One of the best New Year memories I have was spent with my then 3 year old grandson. He spent the night with me and we had a little party after supper. When it was his bedtime, I sat on his bed telling him all about New Year's Eve and why people celebrate it. Then he gazed at the stars through the window and said, "I am going to watch the last stars that shine this year and when I wake up I will see the first sunshine of the new year."

      Thanks for sharing these great and helpful tips.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Too often people use New Year's as an excuse to get blown away with too much drinking. Having a few drinks, enjoying ourselves at a party is great...but overdoing it leads too often to tragedy, not always but too often.

      Your suggestions are right on. There are ways to enjoy this beginning of a new year without having a hangover the next day and without making a complete whatever of yourself at a party. thank you for taking the time to share this...

      May you and your loved ones have a very blessed New Year. Angels are on the way to each of you ps Shared

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      With New Year's Eve nearly here, I think these suggestions and this advice can't be repeated too often. Every year people die because of over consumption of alcohol, either because they drive drunk or in some cases drink to the point of poisoning themselves, or mixing drugs and alcohol.

      There are also people whose dispositions get nasty when they're drinking and they're more inclined to get into altercations that can result in death or permanent handicaps for themselves or others.

      Alcohol is never a good excuse for harming other people or for harming one's self and becoming a burden to yourself and the people around you. Taking the good advice in this article is so much better than living with what are sometimes dire results from over indulging in alcohol or other substances.

      Going to share this again in case someone who needs to read this will see it, or may share it with someone they know who needs it. This information can help make a happier New Year for everyone because if taken seriously, it can help keep people alive to experience the new year.

      Not everyone who dies as a result of alcohol was themselves drinking. Drunk people often kill other people because of impaired judgment and poor reflexes. People who were just going about their usual business and not drinking or partying. Their lives are taken and their family's lives are changed forever, and not for the better.

      I recently heard that some people believe drunkenness is a valid excuse for causing accidents and deaths. It isn't. Everyone needs to read this article and determine to have a safe and truly Happy New Year.


    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      You have so much important information here and important advice and solutions too. While New Year's Eve will soon be here, today is Christmas Eve Day and another time when all of these recommendations can be so useful. Indeed, this information should be applied to every occasion where alcohol is often included.

      Sharing this with my followers because someone may need to read this today and it could make a world of difference in someone's life.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      The Fourth of July is another holiday that often involves heavy drinking. I hope that these suggestions will help keep a few people from overdoing it!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      I'm going to pin this. It's also a good ideas for the 4th of July.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      I'm so glad that taxi companies provide free rides to people on New Years Eve. It is such a dangerous evening and I am always sad to hear about the number of drunk driving accidents there are on that night, as well as other nights of the year.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      I always worry about our grown kids when they go out on New Years Eve but here they do have free taxi rides on New Years and I know our kids take advantage of that. Voted up.

    • profile image

      Regina 6 years ago

      Building gingerbread houses is a great idea especially if you have children. Spending time with your loved ones is the best thing to do and your safe at home. No need to worry about sharing the road with drunk drivers.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      I love the idea of a New Years Eve sleepover. More hosts and hostesses should make the same plan ... it is so much safer for everyone!

    • Escapes profile image

      Escapes 6 years ago

      Great ideas! Anyone who comes to my New Years open house puts their keys in a basket and I prepare for a huge sleepover for anyone who even has one drink. No sense in taking those risks.