Bar crawls, beer and a whole lot of green. Nearly 150 million people across the country celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and indulge in corn beef and alcohol. And there was once a time (perhaps just last year) where you got up early to hit the local bars with your friends and have a good time.
This year, though, you may be having second thoughts if you’re recovering from alcohol addiction or simply trying to cut back on how much you drink. Unfortunately, St. Patrick’s Day tops all holidays for beer consumption and statistics show that people tend to have an average of 4.2 drinks on this day.
In other words, it can be really hard to avoid drinking on St. Patrick’s Day. If you want to remain sober on March 17, there are ways you can avoid the chaos.
Why is Excessive Drinking Associated with St. Patrick’s Day?
Holidays, in general, are viewed as a time to kick back, relax and enjoy yourself. That oftentimes means trading in your healthy diet for sweets and alcohol. St. Patrick’s Day is similar in this regard, but there is also a historical reason why people drink so much.
Saint Patrick was a Romano-British missionary and bishop in Ireland during the fifth century. He was brought to Ireland from Great Britain as a slave where he worked as a shepherd and strengthened his relationship with God. He eventually escaped and returned to Britain, but didn’t stay there for long. After becoming a cleric, he returned to Ireland to bring Christianity to the Irish people.
By the seventh century, Saint Patrick was considered the patron saint of Ireland and a feast day was created in his honor on the anniversary of his death. Originally, this feast day was designed for Christians to pause their Lenten traditions and indulge in food and alcohol.
Today, we know this feast day as St. Patrick’s Day where people of all religious faiths and nationalities celebrate with excessive drinking.
How to Stay Sober on St. Patrick’s Day
According to Wallet Hub, 174% more beer and 153% more spirits are sold on St. Patrick’s Day across the United States. That’s a lot of alcohol sold at every bar and restaurant you pass on the weekend leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, the day of and even the weekend after.
How are you supposed to ignore all that when it’s abundantly acceptable to drink heavily on this day?
If you’re in addiction recovery or trying to cut back on how much you drink, your only option isn’t to just give in and consume excessive amounts of alcohol. Instead, you can:
- Throw Your Own St. Patrick’s Day Party. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on your own terms by hosting a party for your friends and family. This gives you a perfect excuse to not go out to the bars and you’ll be able to control what food and drinks are at the party.
- Find a Sober Bar to Go to. Sober bars are a growing trend across the United States, giving people a typical bar-setting to socialize and hangout without the pressures of drinking alcohol. Instead of going to a traditional bar on St. Patrick’s Day, try finding a sober bar to go to with your friends.
- Participate in Irish Cultural Traditions. Attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade with your kids, try a traditional Irish dish like Irish Stew or boxty, and wear green to get into the holiday spirit. All these activities can help you participate in St. Patrick’s Day without actually drinking alcohol.
- Go to a Support Meeting. If you’re in addiction recovery, one of the very best places you can turn to on March 17 is an AA meeting or another support meeting. This can replace the time you’d spend at a bar and gives you a chance to connect with other people who are trying to avoid the holiday’s temptations, too.
- Stay in with a Loved One. Who says you even need to go out on St. Patrick’s Day? Instead of going to the bars, stay at home with your spouse, family, or a close friend. You can have a movie marathon, binge-watch a new Netflix show, or play card or board games that’ll keep everyone entertained.
Just because St. Patrick’s Day includes heavy drinking, doesn’t mean you have to take part in it. It’s okay to accept that you aren’t going to drink. In fact, you can even feel proud that you aren’t drinking because it means you’re calling the shots in your own life and putting your health and well-being first!
Alcohol Addiction Treatment at The Raleigh House
Are you struggling with the amount of alcohol you’re drinking? Or maybe you’ve recently relapsed or feel like you’re going to relapse on St. Patrick’s Day. No matter where you’re at, The Raleigh House can help you recover from alcohol addiction.
We offer an evidence-based and holistic alcohol addiction treatment approach that’s designed to give you the personalized care you deserve. With a step-down, continuum of care, we can help you detox from alcohol, get to the bottom of your addiction in residential treatment and help you regain your independence without alcohol in outpatient treatment.
To get started, fill out our form or contact us now to get in touch with one of our friendly admissions team members.