How to Stay Sober

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Concerned about maintaining your sobriety at a party? 6 tips on how to stay sober that may help

One of the biggest challenges recovering addicts face is figuring out how to stay sober at a party or other social situation. Whether you are making a mandatory appearance at a company function or attending a family gathering, you may find yourself struggling to fight the urge to relapse. To help strengthen your resolve and give you the strength to stay true to your commitment to sobriety, we have six tips on how to stay sober that may help.

  1. Carry a non-alcoholic drink
    Once people at parties get a bit tipsy, many seem to have what almost amounts to a compulsion to make sure everyone around them is also drinking. Keeping a non-alcoholic beverage in your hand as you circulate through a party can help eliminate encounters where people try to force drinks on you.
  2. Attend with a sober friend
    Figuring out how to stay sober at a party is easier when you have a sober friend attending with you. You and your sober friend can run interference and extricate each other from any situation if it seems necessary. Having someone by your side who is also in recovery can help you relax and enjoy yourself. When you aren’t the only sober person in the room, it makes it easier to see the foolish ways that people act when intoxicated, which can strengthen your resolve to avoid the same fate.
  1. Practice your response ahead of time
    Practicing what you will say ahead of time is a good strategy to avoid being caught without an adequate response when someone offers you alcohol or drugs at the event. You don’t have to go into a long explanation or discuss the reasons why you don’t want to drink your use drugs. A simple, direct, “No thanks, I’m not drinking or using tonight” will be sufficient for most people. Be prepared to change the subject or walk away from the conversation if someone confronts you and tries to insist that you engage in substance use. These are some of the situations where having a sober friend attending with you can help smooth the way.
  2. Offer to be the designated driver
    Because penalties have gotten stiffer for drunk driving and driving under the influence, designated drivers have become a well-established fixture at parties of every type. If you offer to serve as the designated driver for a trusted friend, no one is going to pressure you about joining in the festivities. Just make sure that the person or people you drive are prepared to get another ride home or depart with you if you decide you need to leave.
  3. Don’t be afraid to leave
    Maintaining your sobriety is more important than attending any party or social event, regardless of the expectations of others. If you begin to fear your sobriety is at risk at any time, feel free to leave. Make sure you have an exit plan so you can leave whenever you need to, without having to wait around for a ride from someone else you may have a hard time persuading to leave.
  4. Remember you are not the only one in recovery
    Sometimes social settings can bring feelings of isolation and alienation to the surface. If you begin to feel that everyone is happily indulging themselves and you are the only one at the party who is in recovery, just remember this fact: you are not alone. Ten percent of all Americans aged 18 or older consider themselves to be in recovery from drugs and/or alcohol abuse problems, according to survey data released by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). That means one in ten adults is in recovery from substance abuse. Relax, regroup, and focus on the positive things in your life now instead of romanticizing your past substance abuse.

Remaining sober at parties and social situations will get easier as you continue to put your relapse strategies into practice.  For more tips for staying sober, be sure to visit today!