Parties and other social gatherings can be a lot of fun, but they can also be a major challenge for people in recovery. More often than not, these gatherings will include some kind of alcoholic beverages. While this may be enjoyable for most of the people at the party, it can be a difficult and uncomfortable situation for someone recovering from alcoholism.

For a person in recovery, being around alcohol and a lot of people drinking can be a major trigger. The temptation can be high, but having just one drink of alcohol can be devastating for a person in recovery, as it can lead to a full relapse into the addiction. However, just because a person quits drinking does not mean they have to quit having a social life altogether. It is possible to still go to parties and social gatherings while maintaining recovery. It’s likely that a person in recovery will be offered a drink at some point, so it’s helpful to know to good techniques for turning down a drink.

Ways to Turn Down a Drink

  • Tell the person that you are driving. This is a really easy and effective excuse, and usually the person offering the drink will just take it at face value and not ask any more questions. You can drive the point home by saying that you are a designated driver. Designated drivers are always appreciated and respected, and virtually never challenged.
  • Carry a non-alcoholic drink with you. Carrying a soda or some other kind of non-alcoholic beverage with you will make it less likely that someone else will offer you a drink. If someone does, you can just say that you are all set.
  • Be honest and let people know that you are in recovery. This is clearly the most straightforward way to explain why you are not drinking, and it is highly unlikely that someone would try to get you to drink if they know you are in recovery. It may not be something you want to share with people, however the truth is that it is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it is something to be very proud of, and turning down a drink can be a very empowering act.

Being Successful in Recovery

Recovery does not necessarily mean that a person has to give up their entire social life. In fact, having a strong supportive community is one of the most important factors that contributes a long lasting sobriety. True friends will be understanding and supportive if you share with them the fact that you are in recovery. It’s best to be upfront with people before going to parties and social gatherings so friends know not to offer alcoholic beverages in the first place. However, for those looking to keep things more discreet, it’s easy come up with simple and effective reasons to turn down a drink at a social gathering. Life doesn’t have to stop after getting sober. If anything, life truly begins when a person becomes sober. They just have to be smart and proactive to avoid common pitfalls and put their sobriety as the highest priority.