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Stay Sober At Parties

Helping Others (And Yourself) Stay Sober At Parties.

It’s been a long, hard fight getting (and staying) sober. It took a lot just to realize you had a problem and needed to make a change. But you did, and now you are walking that straight edge and staying clean.

But this isn’t a light switch. It’s not like you just flipped something to “sober” and you’re fine for the rest of your life. Instead, you’re going to face temptations and challenges as someone in addiction recovery. Things get harder when you’re at a party where there are plenty of people using, so how are you supposed to avoid temptation?

That depends on the kind of party you’re talking about, but it can be done — and more importantly, it should be done.
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Holiday Parties

When it comes to avoiding temptation, holiday parties and weddings can be among the most challenging times. Many of your friends who rarely drink or get high can go crazy at weddings, 4th of July, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, etc. How can you navigate through these parties?

First, make sure you’re going to one run by a good host. That means someone offering non-alcoholic drinks like mocktails, not just a dusty 2-liter of soda. It also helps to have something to do at these parties, as being bored is always the enemy of anyone in addiction recovery.

Make sure there’s a friend or close family member who will stay sober with you. Not only can they lend support to help you avoid temptation, but just seeing someone staying clean will encourage you to do the same.

If you’re traveling on vacation around the holidays, look for the triggers that can knock you down. There will likely be parties at bars and clubs, so try to avoid these. Instead, plan plenty of activities for that vacation so you don’t need to hit parties to socialize.

Backyard And Smaller Parties

Sometimes, you can more easily avoid temptation when you’re on vacation or at a holiday party. It’s unusual, so it’s easier to remember why you entered addiction recovery in the first place. But there’s a different kind of temptation at the small parties. Backyard barbecues, watching the game at a friend’s place, or just hitting a club to catch a band can be rough.

That’s why you need a sober plan. Literally practice turning people down. Once you know what to say, you’ll be more likely to say no to whatever they’re offering. Keep in mind when you had your last drink, and how proud you’ve felt with staying sober. Order yourself something like water or soda, and keep that drink in your hand.

And since these are small parties, there’s nothing wrong with leaving early, right? Be prepared to head out should things get too much to bear.

Creating Your Own Parties

If an abundance of parties is starting to take its toll and you’re finding it hard to avoid temptation, why not take control of the situation and start throwing your own parties? This way, you can make sure there are plenty of things to do while staying sober.

Here are some tips to ensure these are successful:

  • Make sure any invitation (formal or just a text) clearly explains that this is alcohol- and drug-free. You don’t want people showing up with a case of beer.
  • Hold the party earlier than normal. If people have to drink that night, end your event so there’s still time for them to leave and go somewhere else. That can help get more people to come to your party.
  • Have plenty of things to do. A movie is good, but games are better.

You Can Stay Sober At Parties

Like any part of addiction recovery, staying sober at a party is not always going to be easy. But by following these tips, you can avoid temptation and stay sober — just like you should.