Learn how to be around alcohol without relapsing

The best option for recovering alcoholics is to completely remove yourself from any environment that includes alcohol. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to do so, especially over the long term. So, it’s important for those in recovery to know how to be around high risk situations without relapsing. Although it may be challenging, it is certainly possible.


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  • have an non-alcoholic beverage at hand
  • bring a sober friend
  • have a backup plan
  • practice saying no
  • set small goals

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  • have just one
  • accept a drink unless you know for sure what it is
  • attend parties until you are ready
  • slack off with aftercare
  • forget why you chose recovery

[publishpress_authors_data]'s recommendation to ExpertBeacon readers: Do

Do have an non-alcoholic beverage at hand

If you’re attending a party where there will be alcohol, ensure that you will have access to nonalcoholic drinks, either by bringing your own or contacting the host. Have an alcohol-free beverage in your hand at all times.

Do bring a sober friend

Recruit a friend for moral support. This should be someone who will remain sober with you and act as a source of support if you are faced with temptation. A heavy load becomes easier to carry when it is shared, so getting someone else on board with your sober outlook will help to fight off triggers.

Do have a backup plan

It’s always okay to remove yourself from a dangerous situation. If you recognize that you’re struggling to be around alcohol, it may be safer to leave. Have a plan for where you will go if you need to leave, as it may not be the best idea to go home alone when you are under stress.

Do practice saying no

There might come a time when someone offers you an alcoholic beverage. Be prepared to politely turn them down. How you do so is up to you; there is no obligation to say that you are in recovery, though it’s perfectly fine to say so if you are comfortable. Practice saying no as part of your relapse prevention plan so if the time comes, you’re prepared.

Do set small goals

You don’t have to stay at the party for a long time. Set a small goal for yourself such as staying for 20 minutes or holding onto a non-alcoholic drink for one hour. Achieving these goals will help you feel in control and more confident in your ability to cope with high risk situations.

[publishpress_authors_data]'s professional advice to ExpertBeacon readers: Don't

Do not have just one

Relapse is relapse, whether it’s one drink or a dozen. Don’t be tempted into the mindframe that just one won’t hurt you. Sobriety is 100 percent, and your recovery depends on saying no to just one.

Do not accept a drink unless you know for sure what it is

If someone offers you a drink, make sure you know what it is. If you don’t know or trust that person, it’s okay to decline. Putting your recovery first means looking out for your sobriety, even if it may be misunderstood as rudeness.

Do not attend parties until you are ready

If you can avoid being around alcohol, do. If you find yourself unexpectedly in a position where people around you are drinking, make excuses and leave if you’re not prepared. It’s especially important to avoid parties thrown by people who you used to drink with in the past – these are especially high-risk situations and you’ve worked too hard to get to where you are now to go back down that path.

Do not slack off with aftercare

Sometimes recovery is going so well that you may feel that you are ‘cured.’ This is when you need to remember that there is no cure for alcoholism; it can only be managed. Don’t let the disease win! Keep going to your aftercare meetings and talk about what you can do to stay sober when you’re around alcohol.

Do not forget why you chose recovery

In the heat of the moment it can be easy to forget the hard work you’ve put in to your sobriety. Don’t let yourself forget! Make a list of why you chose sobriety, or carry a photo or token that reminds you. Pull it out when you’re feeling tempted and use it to keep yourself on track.


In an ideal world, recovering alcoholics would be able to avoid alcohol in all forms after treatment. The reality is, you may find yourself in a situation where alcohol is present, whether or not you knew it would be. When or if this happens, you should be prepared with a relapse prevention strategy to keep you firm in your sobriety.

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