Social Events in Recovery

It’s the nightmare of any newly sober person fresh out of an addiction treatment center: invitations to a family party, bridal shower, or holiday celebration replete with alcoholic beverages and the possibility of cravings and relapse. While some family and friends will be supportive of recovery efforts, others will not, and still others won’t even be aware of the issue, creating a perilous recipe for temptation. How can someone in early recovery navigate the tumultuous waters of social gatherings featuring alcohol?


Someone who is shaky or new in their recovery should avoid social engagements altogether if it’s known that alcohol will be present. While skipping events can make you feel like you’re missing out on fun, friendship, and memories, choosing to abstain is a sign of maturity and responsibility. Nothing is more important in early recovery than sustained sobriety, and in the long-term, missing events creates a much firmer foundation for sobriety. And in the meantime, you can find support and social connection with the people in your meetings or addiction recovery facility’s alumni program.


In some cases, it may make sense to go to the social event. However, this endeavor should only be undertaken by those who are confident in their sobriety, and if planning on taking this route, you should build as many safeguards into the night as possible. Find a trusted friend to attend the event with you and keep you on track during the night. Let your sponsor, mentor, or recovering friend know about the event, and keep in touch with them when you need support. Along the same lines, bring some recovery materials, whether a sobriety app, inspirational music, or the Big Book on your phone. Snatching moments (perhaps in the bathroom) to go over these materials can strengthen your resolve during the event and remind you of the lessons learned in your addiction recovery program. Drive your own car so that you have a viable escape route, and remember that you can always leave if things become too difficult. It may also be a good idea to attend a meeting before or after the event.


If choosing to attend events, it may help to think of a response to questions about your abstinence in advance. While some people are simply curious about your habits, others are boorish or don’t get the memo. In any case, a simple, “I don’t drink” will suffice, although it may be helpful to come up with a personal response that works for you. Some people in recovery choose to gloss over the truth; others explain about their addiction and recent completion of drug rehab. Follow whatever course will most empower you.


If you or someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, call to speak with a Right Path Drug Rehab representative, and we’ll help you find a luxury addiction treatment program that fits your needs. With caring staff, a safe and monitored detoxification, and support for dual diagnosis, our program will help anyone overcome their addiction. Please contact us today to turn a life around.


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