By: Ava
January 9, 2024

Staying Sober in Social Settings

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There is a huge difference between getting sober and staying sober. If you are early in your recovery, you are no doubt doing your best to work on your individual program of recovery. While you may feel confident that you can stay in recovery, the real litmus test is encountering social situations such as family gatherings, work parties, bars, and other places where alcohol and drugs are present.

Will you be able to resist the temptation to use? 

Will you be able to detect triggers and escape with your sobriety intact?

In this article, you will learn simple strategies for staying sober in social settings. By putting these strategies to work, you will grow stronger in recovery and minimize the risk of relapse. If you or a loved one need help with substance abuse, Multi Concept Recovery (MCR) is here to help. We offer evidence-based addiction treatment programs in Los Angeles customized to meet your specific needs.
Call MCR right now and heal your mind, body, and spirit.

Tips For Staying Sober In Social Settings

No matter how far along you are in your recovery, staying sober in social settings can be a tricky affair. The sight of people laughing, conversing, and drinking may bring back powerful memories. While you may have had the time of your life during your using days, it came with a heavy price. Is it possible to genuinely enjoy parties and other social gatherings while staying sober? 

The following tips and strategies will help you with your goal of staying sober at parties:

Tip #1: Trust Your Senses and Know Your Triggers

When you get an invitation to a social gathering, think about it for a bit. Will there be people there that were your using friends? Is the location a bar, house, or other place that brings up strong memories of your days of drinking and using drugs? If the answer is yes and you feel anxious, don’t go. Remember, your health and sobriety is your top priority.

Tip #2: Plan Ahead

If you decide to attend an event, be sure to put in the time to put a plan in place to minimize temptation. Have people in your support network on speed dial, have reliable transportation at the ready, and have an exit strategy worked out in the event the urge to use becomes too powerful. Having a solid plan in place helps you protect your sobriety while allowing you to enjoy your evening with friends.

Tip #3: Bring Your Own

If you know the people that are throwing the party, call them and ask if you can bring your own non-alcoholic drinks. If the event has an open bar, ask the bartender if there are non-alcoholic options available and if they can make non-alcoholic “mocktails”. Whether you bring your own or if the bar has non-alcoholic options, be sure that you get your own drink and not have someone get it for you. 

Tip #4: Be Assertive

An important tip to stay sober in social settings is to be assertive and confident. If someone offers you a drink or other drug, you must be able to turn down their offer while being firm and respectful. When offered a drink, use “I” statements such as I am not drinking tonight or I am not using drugs this evening. Be simple and direct and avoid overexplaining why you aren’t partaking. If people are persistent, stand your ground and be firm but polite. If these approaches are not working, simply excuse yourself and leave. 

Tip #5: Suggest Alternate Activities

If you don’t want to attend a function, create your own event. Host a board game night, or throw a dinner party and have guests bring their own non-alcoholic beverages. These activities are fun and not centered around substances. 

Get On The Road To Sobriety WIth Help From Multi-Concept Recovery

Are you currently struggling with substance abuse and need professional help? Are you newly out of treatment and need extra support to stay clean and sober? As one of Southern California’s premier outpatient facilities, Multi-Concept Recovery offers you the customizable treatment programs and compassionate support you need. We offer programs specifically designed for teenagers, college students, adults, first responders, families, and those in the LGBTQ+ community. Our Burbank rehab centers also offer programs for mental health treatment.

Call Multi-Concept Recovery today and get the help you need.