Developing the Courage to Say No to Drugs and Drinking

drinking | LakehouseRecoveryCenter.comAt the start of your recovery, you’re likely going to stay far away from parties and social gatherings. Your focus will be on staying sober and staying away from anything that’s going to jeopardize your recovery.

However, at some point, you might feel the social need to spend time with friends and family. You might get invited to an event that you can’t say no to. And with this, there might come a moment when someone approaches you and says, “Can I buy you a drink?” or “Why don’t you have a drink in your hand?” and you might get caught off guard.

Yet, in time, you can develop the courage and confidence to respond so that you stay true to your sobriety.

In order to get to that point, here are a few ways to build that courage so that you can attend events with alcohol and/or drugs and not let them affect your sobriety.

Be informed before attending events

Find out who will be there, how long it’s expected to last, and whether there will be alcohol or other drugs. If alcohol is going to be there, find out whether it’s beer, wine, and/or liquor. The more forms of alcohol, especially if they have an old favorite of yours, the more dangerous the party might be.

Brainstorm on how you might be able to attend without participating in the drugs and alcohol. Think clearly about what you’ll do if and when you’re tempted with a drink or a joint. If you find out that going to the party is going to be too risky, then perhaps it’s best to stay home! There’s no sense in risky your sobriety for one night.

Make a list of responses to an invitation to drink or use

Be prepared with your answer so that you’re not caught off guard. Write out a response that feels most comfortable for you.

Accept limitations

You might be able to attend an event with alcohol and sustain your sobriety, but once other drugs come onto the scene, then you might know you need to leave. Knowing what your limits are can empower you to stay sober. You might be able to attend parties during the day, but if you go to an event at night, then you might know your more vulnerable to relapse. Know what your limitations are and protect yourself accordingly.

Ask for help, even when it’s hard to do

If it feels right, allow people to help in concrete ways such as being a sober companion at parties, driving you home when you are ready to leave, and encouraging your sobriety. Or you might need help with processing your feelings before attending an event to strengthen your commitment to sobriety. Friends are there to help; you can rely on them for being a support in your sobriety and prevention of relapses.

These are a few ideas to help build the courage it takes to stay true to your sobriety. Although you might be in recovery, at some point you’ll likely have to say no when invited to drink or use drugs. Preparing yourself for this moment ahead of time can keep you from putting your sobriety at risk.



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