How to stay sober when everybody around is drinking

How to stay sober when everybody around is drinking

When someone tries to stay away from one’s old habit of drinking, the biggest hurdle comes in the form of people who are drinking alcohol around him or her. Becoming sober as a matter of preference is not easy. It requires a lot of grit and determination to say a firm “no” to alcohol, especially in a social setting. But when the deteriorating health demands abstinence, one is left with no choice but to refrain from drinking at any cost. Even a mild slip up may lead to a relapse and mitigate the benefits of a detox.

For people recovering from alcohol addiction, the first few months can be extremely difficult. It takes time to conscientiously avoid alcohol in places where social drinking is a norm. However, though difficult, staying sober post recovery is not impossible. All it takes is some self-control and a persistent effort to resist the urge.

Dealing with dangers of relapse

People recovering from an alcohol addiction are at a high risk of a relapse when surrounded by drunk friends. While a detox helps in removing the toxins, the brain is often wired to go back to pleasure-inducing behavior caused by alcohol and substance abuse, and therefore, behavioral counseling is necessary post the detox. Behavioral counseling not only helps develop coping behaviors in recovering individuals, but also helps them avoid potential triggers.

Addiction relapse is a common phenomenon. It is estimated that almost 50 percent of people who enter a rehab for alcoholism and substance abuse relapse to their old ways. The first 90 days post a rehab and detox are more fraught with the dangers of a relapse. Relapse can be in the form of a mild slip up, wherein one resorts to sipping alcohol at the insistence of friends, or it can be full-blown alcoholism needing an additional medical intervention. In case of a mild slip up, one can easily chalk out a plan of action with one’s therapist that would prevent such situations arising in future.

Relapse is more prominent in instances where the medical detox was seen as the end of all treatment. Medical detox is the process of cleansing the body of the toxins related to alcohol and controlling the withdrawal through diet and medications. However, detox is not the only step toward achieving sobriety, a complete recovery is possible only through therapeutic support and counseling.

Tips to avoid alcohol in social settings

While saying no firmly is the best tactic to avoid alcohol in social settings, in certain instances, it becomes necessary to have a plan of action in place that can help a person from avoiding situations where social drinking is likely. Some of the key steps to avoid social drinking are:

  • Choosing nonalcoholic drinks in a party and in case none are being served, bringing one’s own is the best way to tackle the situation
  • Keeping a watch on one’s drinking spree in a social gathering
  • Having an exit strategy especially when it is time to binge drink
  • Avoiding a social event or a party that involves binge drinking
  • Informing family members and colleagues about one’s sobriety goals of recovery
  • Firmly indicating friends and family to avoid drinking in his or her presence
  • Managing the withdrawal pangs by talking to a support group
  • Consulting a therapist or a doctor in case a social get together makes the consumption of alcohol unavoidable

Road to recovery

A successful treatment is one that addresses more than just a person’s alcohol abuse. While medical detox is at the core of treatment, behavioral therapies and psychological counseling are essential as well. Only a holistic treatment plan can make recovery sustainable.

If you or your loved one is addicted to alcohol, connect to the California Detox Helpline to know more about various rehab centers in California that have specialized detox programs. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-780-2495 or chat online to know about the best detox centers near you.