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How to Stay Sober From Alcohol

Maintaining sobriety can be difficult when you are new to recovery. Figuring out how to stay sober from alcohol and drugs can be particularly challenging as you try to navigate the events of daily life because you will be in situations that expose you to triggers that may tempt you to relapse.  You can still participate in activities and even attend parties as long as you take some precautions that make it easier for you to maintain your sobriety and have a great time without drugs or alcohol. Here are some tips on how to stay sober from alcohol and drugs at parties and other social events:

5 Minute Read | Published Sep 15 2023 | Updated Feb 27 2024 Expert Verified
Emma Collins
Written by
Amber Asher
Reviewed by
Emma Collins
Written by
Amber Asher
Reviewed by

Trying to figure out how to stay sober from alcohol? We have some sobriety tips that will help

Get involved

Getting involved tops our list of tips for staying sober at parties; because when you stay engaged and active, you don’t have time to miss getting high. There are tons of ways you can get involved at parties – help out in the kitchen, take a turn at playing DJ, or join in with trivia games. Getting involved with these activities also makes it easier to meet other people who are interested in having fun rather than focusing on getting high or drunk.

Focus on the positive benefits of sobriety

Before heading out to any social function, perform a quick inventory of your life. Focus on the many positive benefits of sobriety, from better relationships with your friends and family to regaining your self-respect, feeling healthy, and being able to achieve whatever future fills your dreams. Once you examine all you’ve gained, you will remember that losing all those benefits of sobriety just to get drunk at a party is not worth it.

Brush up on your drink refusal skills

People often encourage others to join them in drinking alcohol or doing drugs at parties, and they can sometimes get pretty insistent. The pressure to give in and indulge can be particularly intense if you are attending a work related function along with your boss. Be prepared to have people offer you drinks, and practice what you will say to refuse ahead of time.  Carrying a non-alcoholic drink at all times can help enormously, as it reduces the chances that someone will hand you a drink.

Prepare for triggers

Since you will be facing a number of triggers whenever you interact with others, make sure you plan ahead to avoid all the triggers you can. Feeling hungry or tired can make it harder to avoid relapsing, so it is a good idea to eat a hearty meal before leaving for a party or other event. Try to get enough rest the night before, and resolve to leave as soon as you start to get tired.

Attend with a sober friend

Bringing along a sober friend is one of the best tips for how to stay sober from drugs and alcohol at a social function. If you go to a party by yourself or only with people who are unaware of your commitment to sobriety, it can be too tempting to gravitate towards the type of people you used to get high with. Attending with sober friends gives you a fun crowd of people to talk to all night who will not encourage you to return to bad habits.

Don’t be afraid to leave

If you find that even with these strategies you are afraid you may relapse, feel free to leave any activity early. Your sobriety is more important than attending a party, sports game, or social event of any type, even if it is work-related. It’s a good idea to drive yourself or have ready transportation with someone you can trust to leave at once if you need them to. Even if you are in a strange town, you should be able to find a twelve-step meeting or at least call your sponsor to get some support once you leave.


bullet `Rethinking Drinking
"Building your drink refusal skills"
Retrieved on April 10, 2017

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