Canaan, CT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/13/2014 -- Every year, Americans spend an average of more than $245 million at bars, pubs, and nightclubs on St. Patrick's Day. If you or your loved one is a recovering alcoholic and you want to build new traditions minus the temptation of alcohol, Mountainside Treatment Center offers the following ten tips that will help you enjoy St. Patty's Day without putting your sobriety at risk.
#1 – Take in a Parade – Every major city across the country has its own St. Patty's Day Parade. Taking in the creative floats, eating traditional Irish fare, and looking at all of the people dressed in costumes will not only make your holiday fun and exciting, but it will help keep your mind off of drinking.
#2 – Cook Your Own Irish Dinner – Instead of heading to the pub, try cooking your very own authentic Irish feast. From traditional Irish soda bread to corn beef and cabbage to shepherd's pie, there are dozens of alcohol-free recipes available that will help you celebrate the day's significance. Or, if you would rather enjoy an Irish dinner cooked by the pros, head to your favorite restaurant and check out their St. Patty's Day specials – just be sure to verify that the dishes are alcohol-free!
#3 – Attend an Irish Music Concert or Festival – Nothing can get you in the St. Patty's Day mood quite like traditional Irish music. Find a local concert or festival and revel in the bagpipes, flutes, fiddles, and accordions.
#4 – Take a Step Dancing Class – Before attending the concert, take a step dancing class with a friend and this will help you fit in on the dance floor. You won't be a pro, but the fun you'll have will be more than worth it.
#5 – Plan Your Own St. Patrick's Day Party – Rather than avoiding parties on St. Patrick's Day, why not plan one of your own? Make it an alcohol-free party filled with green decorations, Irish foods and music, and plenty of good times. By hosting your own party, you'll also be giving your friends who are also recovering a safe place to spend and enjoy the holiday.
#6 – Hold a Fundraiser – If you want to spend the day doing something more meaningful, then get your friends together and host a fundraiser for alcohol abuse. If you're crafty you can create Irish-themed gifts for sale or you can hold a bake-sale at your local parish or street-side during the community parade.
#7 – Host Game Night – Invite your friends over to your place for a fun-filled evening of games and prizes. Create games with an Irish motif, such as bingo cards made from green construction paper or a "pot-o-gold" filled with gold-wrapped chocolate coins that your guests will have to try and guess how many coins there are. Or, play traditional Gaelic games like hurling, rounders, or Brandubb.
#8 – Hold a Scavenger Hunt – A great way to keep your mind off of alcohol during St. Patrick's Day is to host or attend a scavenger hunt. Separate your friends into groups and give each a list of Irish-themed items to locate around town. Use rhymes or offbeat hints to help them along their journey.
#9 – Host Irish Movie Night – Rather than cozying up to the bar, cozy up on the couch for an evening of fine, Irish-themed movies with your very own St. Patrick's Day movie night. Have your friends bring alcohol-free refreshments while you supply the films. There are dozens of excellent Irish-themed movies that you can choose from, including The Commitments, The Shore, Waking Ned Devine, The Quiet Man, and of course, Leprechaun.
#10 – Attend a Meeting – If the urge to drink on St. Patrick's Day become too unbearable, then your best bet will be to attend a meeting. Simply being around people who are also recovering will help give you the support you need to get through the holiday.
About Mountainside Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Center
Mountainside Treatment Center is nationally recognized for the effectiveness of its drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs. Our Integrative Care Model provides a comprehensive set of treatment and care offerings coordinated by a multidisciplinary treatment team to best fit the unique needs and interests of each client. We are lauded for our ability to partner with each client and the client’s family and healthcare professionals in developing and executing individualized treatment plans that promote long-term sobriety.