Let's start with the Treats:
- Eat a real meal before going trick or treating.
- Wear comfy shoes. Tired sore feet are no fun
- Be sure all costumes are well lit and flashlights are available. Children are twice as likely to be hit by a car Halloween night than any other day of the year
- Make sure costumes are short enough to avoid tripping in dark streets
- Avoid masks as they can make breathing and seeing difficult. Be sure to use non-toxic paint for face painting and to wash it off before going to bed
- If you live in an unsafe neighborhood go to a church, mall, or other safe public place that is handing out candy
- Be sure all small children have a responsible adult with them
- Check all candy before eating
Help with the Triggers:
Like so many holidays, Halloween is full of triggers especially for those who suffer from Substance Use Disorder. This holiday especially has them all; from sugar to alcohol to behavioral addictions. How does a person make it through this holiday safely or at least with minimal harm? Here are some simple ideas to remind everyone they have choices and how to avoid triggers:
- Check in with a sponsor and promise to give an honest report afterwards
- Plan to go try something other than a traditional party. Take a small person trick or treating or go see a movie. No one said you had to stay home
- Be honest and say “no” to the party invite if you know that would be the best choice for you.
- Stay at home and watch a great scary movie with friends
- Go to a meeting. Giving your recovery a “booster shot” meeting can make all the difference
- If you want to control the environment, try hosting your own event and remove the triggers. Struggling with sugar? Have safe treats available. Alcohol your trigger? Have fun mocktails for your guests. Your friends in recovery will appreciate the safe zone
- Be the Designated Driver. Over 52% of all highway fatalities on Halloween night involved a driver with a Blood Alcohol Level of .08 or higher. This will not only keep you safe, but others as well
No matter if you are a child or a big kid at heart, have a fun and safe Halloween.
A Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By Nadine Knapp