Tips to Stay Sober at Holiday Parties

Before going to a social event, establish a few personal rules for yourself, like how late you intend to stay there and how much you’re willing to stand until you need to go. Don’t force yourself to be in a situation that you don’t want to be in. If you think a certain event is a bad idea altogether, then don’t go. So only go to events that you feel comfortable in and that involve people you trust. What we can’t do alone, we can do with the support and community of other sober folks. Having a sober buddy along will make you feel SO much more comfortable, while also building up your accountability to stay on the beam. If you can’t take someone with you in person, lock in a sober friend beforehand that you can reliably be in touch with throughout the evening.

Why can’t I have fun without alcohol?

One reason why life doesn't seem as fun without alcohol is because alcohol reduces our inhibitions. It makes us feel funnier and more confident, it helps take the edge off anxiety and steel the nerves. This is fine if you can take it or leave it, but for many of us, moderation is not an option on our menu.

You can also suggest they talk it through with their sponsor, recovery coach, therapist, or a trusted friend. While some people may be able to go to quit their addiction just by going to support group meetings, not everyone can discipline themselves to stop using substances through sheer willpower.

Tips For Staying Sober at Social Events and Gatherings

Having a plan ensures that you don’t feel pressured to stay and tempted to drink; instead, you can easily get up and remove yourself from the situation if you need to. If you are the only sober person with a bunch of people drinking at a social gathering, it can make you feel like you are drawing attention to yourself or singled out. To overcome this, bring a buddy to the party who will also be sober and who is familiar with your recovery.

A few weeks before the party, have attendees submit ideas for the destination and then have everyone vote. At Duke City Recovery Toolbox, you receive comprehensive treatment to address your addiction and give you the tools to successfully rebuild your life. If you really do not want to delve into your backstory, then don’t.


This way, everyone is learning — and messing up – together, and no one feels pressure to come up with their own moves. Keep the lights low in the dance area so people don’t feel like they’ve got the spotlight on them. Having friends around who would normally drink or use drugs can be triggering and may make you feel self-conscious about your party being “fun enough” for them without substances. It’s perfectly fine to limit your guest list to people who are in recovery or who don’t drink for other reasons. Recovery presents a number of challenges, including reviving a social life that was once centered around drugs or alcohol.

tips for staying sober at parties

Addiction and co-occurring mental health disorder treatment in Arlington, Virginia. So… you are ready to dip your toe in the water of a social gathering and are doing so sober; what do you do? First, you may want to contact the host and ask a few question. Congratulate someone on their sobriety by expressing your support. You might say, “I’m really proud of you,” or “I’m so happy to see you succeed.” Avoid asking questions that are too personal or focusing on the negative aspects of their substance use.

Pill Addiction

Have everyone write a fun fact about themselves on a piece of paper and then draw them from a bowl and read them aloud. These are just a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing.

tips for staying sober at parties

Your sponsor can help by offering his or her own tips and tricks for staying sober during sporting events. Whether you are celebrating July 4th with friends and family or attending a block party, it is quite likely that alcohol will be present. In some cases, watching other people drink can function as a trigger that causes a recovering alcoholic to lapse back into their former patterns. If you find yourself in this type of situation and do not know how to avoid drinking, never feel afraid to just leave. Removing yourself from the setting for fifteen minutes or the rest of the evening can preclude you from making a big mistake.

Did this article answer your questions?

Feel free to call our 24-hour helpline and talk with one of our addiction specialists to learn more about drug treatment options, our residential rehab facilities, and how to afford addiction treatment. You will always be much more self-aware about your sobriety than anyone else will. Most people won’t think twice about whether you’re drinking, especially if they’re drinking—and how to survive summer parties and boozy bbqs those that do pressure you may be revealing their own problems by doing so. Just ignore negative vibes and hang out with people who don’t need substances to socialize, which is becoming a preferred lifestyle choice for millennials. Photo by Kaitlyn Pixley on UnsplashWhen I quit drinking, one of my biggest fears was going to parties and other social events while sober.

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If you wish to contact a specific rehab facility then find a specific rehab facility using our treatment locator page or visit Long-term sobriety is a relative term—it means different things to different people.

If you’re headed to a stadium either locally or far away, here are some tips to help you out when you’re cheering on your team from the bleachers. Of course, if you’re meeting at a restaurant, one of my personal favorites is to react with sheer snobbery. When the waiter comes by to ask what you’d like to drink, ask to hear what type of whiskey they have, after they’ve recited their selection, shrug and say, “ah, I guess I’ll have a coke, then.”

Maybe you have a favorite soda or non-alcoholic beer that you can stay focused on to prevent the temptation of alcoholic beverages. Remind yourself that this go-to drink is your drink of choice for the evening.

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