How to Stay Sober When Your Friends Drink

Reach out toadmissionstoday to learn more. You get to decide how much you want to reveal about your relationship with alcohol. You don’t have to tell them your entire recovery story if you don’t want to. A simple “I don’t drink anymore because it was bad for me” is just as good as an hour-long discussion about why. Today, most people respect others’ wishes about not drinking.

  • You don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why you stopped drinking, but if explaining could help you build a positive support system, talking to a few friends might be beneficial.
  • People will assume you drink and will be very curious about why you don’t have a drink in your hand when they do.
  • « It doesn’t affect you unless you drink, and if you drink, it will make you sick, » Willenbring says.
  • Here are five questions I regularly ask myself to keep my spirit and efforts of community care in check.
  • The recovery process for friends in recovery means avoiding the people, places, and things that could lead to a relapse.

Friends who encourage you to drink or who make backhanded comments about being sober or how sobriety is boring may eventually try pressuring you into drinking again. Even though it’s tough, letting go of these friends is necessary if you’re going to maintain your recovery and fill your life with positive people and relationships. Beyond that, most people don’t know what to do when faced with substance abuse, let alone how to help someone else through recovery.

Explore a future without alcohol.

Saying goodbye to toxic friends is part of every addict’s recovery process –– every single one of them must go if you hope to have any chance at a full recovery. “The days when alcohol-free meant Coca-Cola or orange juice and you felt like a seven-year-old are long gone,” says Piper. Serving booze-free drinks in proper glasses is a tiny thing, but it makes a big difference, says Brunsdon.

  • Thankfully, there have only been a few times when someone at the table hasn’t pointed it out on my behalf and adjusted accordingly.
  • So have some options of hanging out with some friends you know won’t put any pressure on you.
  • Join a sober group on Reddit or Facebook, if that’s your jam.
  • Pay close attention to your mental health and thought patterns.

In fact, it’s hard—and it’s a decision I have to make every day. This used to bother me—it made me feel alone and different. But the reality is, most people drink in a social setting. If you go to a bar and don’t drink, you may feel like you’re being sober around drinkers lame or like you’re cheating yourself. However, if you go to a bar that’s got a great selection of food, suddenly you have a perfectly valid reason to be there. This is often the most challenging step and could cause the most harm if not done.

Wherever You Are, Make Sure You’re There for a Reason

David Susman, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist with experience providing treatment to individuals with mental illness and substance use concerns. Maybe they’re thinking of quitting drinking as well. If it looks like your friends might be venturing into the land of the drunk and ridiculous, that’s your cue to head home. Let’s say the aforementioned heart-to-heart with your buddies didn’t go as planned. You’re getting met with eye rolls, calls to lighten up, and advice that you should learn to take a joke. And then they’re going to make a conscious effort not to be bad friends.

“People” might mean old friends, ex-girlfriends, an old boss, or even a family member. Perhaps your sober friend was abused by a teacher, a church member, or a family member. Being around that person or people close to that person could be a potential relapse trigger.

Why Aren’t More People Aware of Medication-Assisted Treatment?

So your bold, life-improving decision to not drink will mean changes almost everywhere you look. Here are some surprising (and not-so-surprising) occurrences that will inevitably happen to your relationships, your identity, even your free time, and how I’ve learned to deal with each one. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Just check with your friend to make sure they’re okay to leave when you are. Another good idea is to invite another friend who you know is also trying to stay away from alcohol. Doing this will give you a kindred spirit to hang out with when everyone else is drunk.