SACRAMENTO (CBS) — Alcohol plays a central part in many holiday events, and that can be difficult if you are in recovery.

Karen Hamm is president of Women for Sobriety, founded over 40 years ago. She says the key is to plan ahead.

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“That can include limiting the number of parties you attend throughout the holidays. Or creating a new tradition without alcohol,” she said.

Hamm says a good host or hostess usually can spot a guest without a drink a mile away.

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“Always have something, a bottle of water in your hand, a soda, sparkling water. Typically, a host will ask if somebody wants something to drink if they don’t have something in their hand,” said Hamm.

She’s been sober for 10 years and says being alcohol-free has resulted in many positive changes, including reduced negativity, problem-solving, and setting boundaries, especially in toxic situations.

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For more information, go to WomenforSobriety.org.