Alcohol is here to stay. Deeply sewn into the fabric of modern society, drinking is as ubiquitous as social media trends. It’s a way that many choose to connect, have fun, live stress free, and socialize. It stands to reason that those battling alcohol addiction have the most problems when attempting to surround themselves with coworkers, colleagues, friends, family, and even strangers. Is it possible to go out without consuming drinks? Social life without alcohol is not an easy one to manage, but here are some tips to consider.
Because alcohol is embedded within society and culture, it can sometimes be difficult to see the risks surrounding excessive alcohol consumption. We drink for many reasons and in many different settings–at restaurants, bars, concerts, sporting events, dinner parties, and even children’s birthday parties. It’s normal. So normal, in fact, that turning down a drink will likely turn more heads than taking shots.
Socializing should, instead, be about the people you’re spending time with, rather than booze. There are ways to maintain sobriety while socializing. If you’re struggling with alcohol abuse and would like treatment options and direct support, contact AspenRidge at 855-281-5588.
Alcohol Addiction Risks
Alcohol is commonly associated with thoughts of fun, adventure, thrill and relaxation. Though many know the risks of excessive and frequent alcohol consumption, the risks are vastly overlooked. However, even moderate alcohol consumption can have a great impact on our overall health including our mental and physical health. This can consequently lead to the breakdown of relationships and the negative impact in other significant areas of life. Is a social life without alcohol possible?
Although the exact cause of alcohol use disorder is unknown, there are certain factors that may increase your risk for developing this disease.
Known risk factors include having:
- more than 15 drinks per week if you’re male
- more than 12 drinks per week if you’re female
- more than 5 drinks per day at least once a week (binge drinking)
- a parent with alcohol use disorder
- a mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia
You may also be at a greater risk for alcohol use disorder if you:
- are a young adult experiencing peer pressure
- have low self-esteem
- experience a high level of stress
- live in a family or culture where alcohol use is common and accepted
- have a close relative with alcohol use disorder
With the risks of alcohol consumption overlooked, many fail to see when alcohol becomes a problem. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of someone dealing with alcohol use disorder can be the first step to helping reduce the long-term consequences associated with AUD.
Alcohol In Society
When thinking about a social life without alcohol, it’s important to understand the burden carried by those who are struggling with alcohol abuse.
Unlike other drugs and toxic substances, alcohol is perceived as a regular past-time and a go-to beverage when it comes to events and celebrations. Taken in moderation, alcohol can be pleasant. However, alcohol is still a drug and a highly addictive one. With it deeply integrated into society and culture it can be difficult to see the bounds of alcohol consumption.
Alcohol is integrated into everyday life as it is viewed as a recreational hobby. However, research shows that alcohol is considered to be one of the most common addictive substances in the US. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 14.5 million people aged 12 and over experienced alcohol use disorder. With alcohol so prevalent within society, we can see the scary reality of the significant alcohol abuse faced in the US.
Risks of Alcohol Relapse
If you’re in the early stages of recovery, you may feel more comfortable staying away from alcohol completely. This may be wise as being in social settings with alcohol may result in tension and consequently trigger cravings and possibly relapse. If you’re considering how to lead a social life without alcohol, it’s important to understand triggers and risks of relapse.
There’s no doubt that the journey toward sobriety is a challenging one and everyone faces a different experience. You may be tested and feel uncomfortable at times. In order to effectively achieve long-term sobriety, it’s critical to implement relapse prevention strategies to help you overcome those challenges and live a happier life. One of the most significant relapse strategies is to recognize that you may make mistakes and that relapse is a gradual process. In doing so, you’ll begin to recognize that you have not failed but have instead experienced a setback that can be recovered. This strategy of embrace along with other significant strategies and seeking support, will help you to stay on track.
Tips For Maintaining Sobriety
Managing sobriety whilst you’re in a social setting where alcohol is present can be difficult. Staying committed and maintaining sobriety can involve facing challenges from others and yourself. You may be fearful of receiving questions from others or having to explain to people why you’re not drinking. However, quitting drinking and managing sobriety is an incredibly admirable and brave step to take. Though challenging, it is a step that can create a happier and healthier life.
To ensure that you can still have a good time socializing and managing sobriety, it’s critical that you put a couple of things in place to support you. There are a couple of techniques that can be implemented within social settings to help you stay on track and ease your mind so that you can enjoy others’ company.
Some of the most effective ways to lead a social life without alcohol include:
Entering the social setting with trusted friends and family
Confide in a supportive friend or family member who can attend the social event with you. Doing this will not only provide you with additional support, it’s also great to have someone with you if you begin to feel anxious or fearful of questions. Be sure that you confide in someone you can trust to support you and let them know what they can do to help you.
Preparation Is Key
With alcohol perceived as a ‘normal’ recreational hobby, you may face a lack of support for your decision from others. Though this can be extremely difficult, it’s key that you prepare yourself for potential negative reactions in order to cope with them when you are faced with them.
Socialize Through Sober Communities
Creating a social life without alcohol may mean changing your circle of friends, especially if alcohol triggers are too much to overcome.
If you find that socializing with others in a setting involving alcohol has been too challenging or that you are not receiving the support you need from others to manage your sobriety, then you may look to socializing through sober community building. There are a couple of ways you can make this lifestyle change, these include:
Attending Social Settings Without Alcohol
Attending venues or events where you know there will be no alcohol present is so much easier to deal with. Not only does this eliminate negative responses from others, chances are that others at the event will have their own reasons for not drinking. Hence, this will enable you to feel more comfortable and integrated in the setting without the risk of cravings.
Shifting Your Social Circle
Shifting your social circle doesn’t necessarily mean replacing the old with the new, unless you feel like your current circle is wholly unsupportive. Shifting your circle to include people that also don’t drink can be a great way to create solidarity as well as to build a support network. Many people live happy lives without the presence of alcohol, surrounding yourself with like-minded people will enable you to normalize an alcohol-free lifestyle. A great way to meet other sober people is through volunteering, attending alcohol-free events or social-media groups.
Creating a Social Life Devoid of Alcohol
With alcohol consumption a regular pastime, it’s risks are seemingly overlooked. Alcohol consumption can quickly turn from something rare to a regular occurrence which can create negative consequences that impact your health and wellbeing. Continued to go undealt with, alcohol use disorder can lead to dependency. Colorado stands to have more alcohol related deaths than most other states. Hence, it’s critical that anyone dealing with alcohol use disorder seeks the right treatment to help them get back on track and recover from the disease of addiction.
Alcohol Recovery With AspenRidge
AspenRidge Recovery offers a comprehensive and evidence-based alcohol addiction treatment program. Some treatment options include:
- Dual diagnosis treatment program
- Intensive outpatient programs
- Partial hospitalization program
If you or someone you care for have recognized signs of alcohol abuse, AspenRidge can get you the help you need. If you’re ready to get help, contact our support team at 855-281-5588.