After completing alcohol addiction treatment, trying to figure out how to have a social life without drinking can be very challenging. For many, alcohol is very much a part of time with friends or readily available at places where they relax. Is it possible to have an enjoyable social life without alcohol?
Eliminating alcohol from social activities is not easy. As the Social Issues Research Center points out, alcohol is a cultural institution worldwide. However, in order to maintain their addiction recovery, many people decide to stay away from social scenes that center on alcohol permanently. Others can be in a bar or club, or at a party that serves alcohol, without even wanting to take a drink. Either way, enjoying a social life without the aid of these beverages is possible.
Long-Term Addiction Recovery May Involve New Social Activities.
If this is a personal concern for you, here are some suggestions:
- Alert friends and family when you are going to a place where alcohol may be served. Ask them to hold you accountable when you return.
- To maintain addiction recovery, find a drink you really like that can substitute for your favorite alcoholic beverage. “Virgin” drinks or “mocktails” might be a good choice, but beware of the tendency for these drinks to trigger cravings. If you like sweet drinks, have the bartender add grenadine to your favorite soda. Sparkling mineral water with a twist of lemon or lime can also be satisfying.
- Examine your social circle. Do they support your addiction recovery? Are they all heavy drinkers? If they are, it could be time to rethink the amount of time you spend with them.
- Google “Alcohol Free Meet-Ups” and find other people who want to have fun without alcohol.
- Create your own alcohol-free social scenes. Throw parties at your house; plan a camping trip with sober friends; co-host a poolside barbecue with a sober friend. You could become the sober social director among your drinking and non-drinking friends!
Alcohol addiction treatment is no easy thing. To maintain your addiction recovery once you complete rehab, take your social life seriously. Have fun but do it in a way that fully supports your sobriety.