Maintaining sobriety in the New Year is a common resolution for those who are overcoming alcohol addiction. As with other resolutions, maintaining this goal can be difficult as there are many challenging obstacles you can encounter.
Resisting the temptation to drink at social gatherings is often one of several difficulties you may face. However, there are measures you can take to avoid relapse and maintain your sobriety while socializing. Creating a plan ahead of time to avoid temptations and triggers is one of your best defenses against jeopardizing your sobriety.
When creating a plan, these are some factors you may want to consider:
- On-call sober friend/sponsor – Choose a person you trust to call if you are experiencing the desire to drink.
- Alcohol alternatives – Bring or ask the host to have non-alcoholic beverages available.
- Eat a sweet – If an urge to drink hits you, eat or drink something sweet. Since alcohol is a sugar, eating a sweet can satisfy the part of the brain that triggers the need for alcohol.
- Bring a Friend – Ask a sober friend to accompany you to the party for moral support.
- Get rest – Take some time to nap, meditate or just to remain quiet. It’s best to try and relieve stress before going to a gathering.
- Work on your response – Not everyone knows you are in recovery. They may ask you if you’d like a drink. A response that works well is, “I have plans early in the morning tomorrow or I’m driving tonight.”
- Pick and choose your events wisely – If you are invited to an event where there will be excessive amounts of alcohol served, remember you have the right to decline the invitation. Many recovery groups organize non-alcoholic mixers and sober holiday events.
- Limit time with triggers – If you know your “drinking buddy” is going to be at an event you are attending, you can limit the time you spend with them and surround yourself with people who are aware of your sobriety or “safe-zones.”
- Be honest – Honesty just may be the best policy. If you are honest with the people around you, they can help support you in maintaining sobriety.
While alcoholic beverages may be served at events, keep in mind that social gatherings are not only about drinking. You can have an exciting time while staying sober.
The road to recovery can be difficult but it is one that you do not have to travel alone. Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Addiction Services Division provides support and treatment for alcohol and chemical dependence through our Inpatient Chemical Dependence Unit and Reflections Outpatient Program. Our highly trained staff utilizes a medical and holistic approach in helping our patients to address addiction and the impact it has on their lives. These approaches help patients to build coping skills so they can better reflect and focus on their goals. To schedule a consultation, please call 718-670-5087.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.