Vacation parties can be difficult for those in the addiction cure. Some organizations offer safe alternatives for people who choose to live a sober lifestyle.
Iron Mongers Gym in San Marcos is hosting a sober New Years Eve party that is open to the public.
Mike Delgado, a trainer at the gym, said he wanted to offer an alternative to the recovery support program sessions that can last for hours into the night.
“You have marathon meetings and that’s cool when you’re at that level, but when you first start out, sit in a room for 24 hours and hear people tell you what you want for the rest of your business Life’s being able to and what not to do “overwhelming,” said Delgado. “So I just want to offer a little more fun.”
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He knows firsthand how difficult parties can be for someone in recovery from once struggling with drugs. Delgado started using drugs at 10, became addicted at 13, and sought treatment at 27.
“Any kind of celebration would be tough, but especially during the holidays because I’m used to doing everything under influence,” he said. “I didn’t know how to do anything sober, and the only thing I was offered at the time was a meeting … well, I was enough of that.”
Brandon O’Connell trains with Delgado and also leads a sober life.
“I think places like Iron Mongers Gym and other places that open their doors to sober people kind of break the stigma of, I don’t have to go to rehab … to get my sober vacation party,” he said. “I can come to this gym and meet like-minded people and everyone here may not be sober. But the environment is a sober environment. “
Sober parties, a safe alternative for people in addiction healing
Raven Martinez is also recovering and training in the Iron Mongers Gym.
She said sober events take the pressure off of turning down alcohol or drugs at parties.
“In a place like this, a safe place, you don’t have to push back,” she said. “You are already in a situation where people understand and people are more open-minded.”
The gym offers food, soft drinks, weight training, and karaoke on Fridays from 9:00 p.m. to midnight.
While health officials are advising people not to gather in large groups due to COVID-19, Delgado said the 5,000-square-foot facility will provide enough space for people to spread out and he will keep the doors open to airflow.