Celebrating a job promotion, birthday or team win is commonly done through alcohol. People enjoy going out for drinks as a way to acknowledge an accomplishment or celebrate a milestone. But for people who have been through addiction treatment for alcohol, these situations can be particularly challenging.
In some situations, peer pressure causes people to feel uncomfortable in social settings where alcohol is involved. In others, people may feel too great a temptation to indulge in alcohol simply because it is around them and all of their friends, relatives or coworkers are indulging.
When you are equipped with the right tools, maintaining your sobriety even in social situations is not an impossible task. There is a certain period of adjustment that every alcoholic must go through after successfully completing a detoxification program, and during this time it is especially important that those individuals have a reliable support system.
To successfully resist the temptation to drink in social settings, recovering alcoholics need to follow a plan that has been devised by their substance abuse specialist, therapist or counselor that will help them to stay on track during recovery. While each person’s recovery plan will differ, the basic elements of these plans are the same.
To have a successful recovery and remain free of the lure of alcohol, alcoholics need to be able to identify the triggers that cause them to drink, learn coping skills and learn how to make sound decisions when presented with a challenge.
Support groups offer tremendous benefits to recovering alcoholics. Staying actively involved in your support group will increase your chances of staying sober. It is also helpful to have a sponsor you can call whenever you start to feel the urge to take a drink. Support groups and individuals can offer the kind of motivational help that is needed for recovery to succeed even when you are around others who may be drinking.
Practice leading a healthy lifestyle to maintain good mental, emotional and physical health. The keys to this are eating right, exercising regularly and getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Learn how to identify certain people, places or things that seem to be triggers for you wanting to drink. It is best to remove these aspects from your life, as you really want healthy associations, not harmful ones. You also need to have elements in your life that make you feel good about yourself and the direction your life is heading.
Practice how you will respond when faced with alcohol in social situations. This is a step that cannot be skipped simply because it is inevitable that you will eventually encounter a situation where alcohol is present. Your support group and/or sponsor can help you to practice a variety of different scenarios so that you are prepared for anything that you might be faced with.
Learn how to cope in a healthy way. Stress is something that is going to occur in life from time to time, and knowing how to handle it in a healthy way is a key to remaining free of alcohol.
While there is no realistic way to completely avoid all social situations involving alcohol, it is possible to handle them in a healthy, positive manner that will keep you on track on your road through recovery.