The primary goal of a recovery process is to help an addict stop abusing his favorite drug. But when someone has just quit using drugs, he feels an intense craving for abusing drugs – one slight mistake, and he loses his sobriety. Unfortunately, most addicts are afraid to stop abusing drugs due to fear that it will ruin their social life or take away their fun. The truth is, a person in his early recovery needs to distance himself from events that they may be expected to drink. He needs to avoid hanging out with friends they used to drink with since they pressure him to drink again.
A person in recovery needs to know that loneliness is a trigger, and he should try to avoid it early in recovery. It is right for a person to have friends and a healthy social life while still in recovery. But he should always maintain sobriety even when attending social events. Here are ways an addict can live a sober life during his early recovery.
Get Support from the Right People
Early in recovery, a person will find it challenging to stay sober when attending parties. But he must realize that he has devoted himself to quit abusing drugs. The people he used to hang out with are no longer part of his life. When attending parties, one in recovery can ask his like-minded friends to accompany to ensure he doesn’t drink or take any other substance. Like-minded friends will also help a person in recovery have more fun.
Be Prepared to Give an Excuse
No shame in it. In his early recovery, any person should be ready to give an excuse when he finds himself in situations where he is offered alcohol or asked to consume illicit drugs. He should not be belabored to explain that he is in recovery whenever asked why he is not drinking. A short and precise answer is good enough. Some of the excuses he can give include:
He is the designated driver. This is an excuse that always sticks. In fact, his friends will respect and appreciate his service. The bartender will also not serve him with alcoholic drinks. Instead, he will be served a soft drink. Letting himself be the designated driver can help him strengthen his decision to maintain sobriety when your friends depend on you to drive them when the party is offering.
He wants to cut down weight. One can simply say his doctor recommended that he stop abusing drugs so that he can lose weight.
If the situations are favorable, he can explain that he has ceased using substances of abuse. No one will judge them, and their decision is final.
When the situation becomes overwhelming and uncomfortable, one should get ready to leave. He can also plan to skip any social event if the pressure is too much or when he feels uncomfortable attending such events.
Get a Go-To Alternative
A person in his early recovery can find a suitable go-to alternative to his favorite drug. He should get ready to order this healthy alternative even when the waiter or bartender takes their order. Simple non-alcoholic drinks such as water, iced tea, or soft drink can serve the purpose. One needs to be consistent in using the go-to alternative so that his friends get used to your go-to replacement.
Another strategy is for one to have a drink in his hand so that his friends feel discouraged from giving him an alcohol drink.
Enjoy Drug-Free Fun
Recovery doesn’t make one stop having fun. There are various ways a person can have drug-free fun. One needs to learn about appropriate ways to have fun without using drugs. He can simply choose to be occupied and active so that he can feel fulfilled. Creating connections with people who don’t abuse drugs is another strategy to have drug-free fun. Sometimes a person in his early recovery needs to choose the old hobbies he gave up when he fell into drugs. Going to a movie and discussing with his friends, hosting or going to a drug-free event are other ways a person can have fun in his early recovery.
At Rockland Treatment, we understand how consuming addiction is and how intimidating taking the first step to a better, sober life can be. We have served clients nationwide with our residential and outpatient programs using custom-built treatment plans to help you achieve and maintain sobriety, and we are ready to do the same for you. We recognize that each person’s journey is unique, and will work with you to determine your individual needs and desires for recovery.
Your path to recovery and wellness starts with the first step. Contact us for a free assessment, and allow us to show you how our program can help you lead the life you want, unshackled by addiction, and surrounded with love.