For the 15.1 Million Americans struggling with alcohol use disorders, getting through summer social events like the Fourth of July without alcohol can be a challenge.
Whether you’re going to a party with friends or attending a family BBQ, we encourage everyone to utilize these six helpful tips and tricks that allow you to be the life of the party while avoiding alcohol (or other substances).
1. Go to the event prepared
Before going to the party, do some research. You can find tons of delicious recipes for mocktails and n on-alcoholic drink options online so you can enjoy your drink without the buzz! Not sure where to start? Workit has 17 mocktails to enjoy on any occasion.
2. Bring your own cup and cooler
Even when your loved ones are supportive, it can occasionally feel awkward to be the one asking for accommodations. That’s why Workit members in recovery have found that bringing their own fun cup and favorite beverage in a personal-sized cooler can make things go more smoothly. That way if your hosts aren’t prepared for non-drinkers, you’re still covered. If there are busybodies, nobody will know what you’re drinking. And you’re prepared, so you won’t accidentally end up drinking something you shouldn’t.
3. Make yourself comfortable by surrounding yourself with the right people
If you are newly sober or feeling nervous about attending get-togethers where there will be drinking, bring a sober friend with you. That way you can hang out together and support each other through what may be a triggering situation.
4. If you don’t have a sober buddy that can join you, keep yourself busy!
Help the host put out the food or clean up, engage in non-drinking games, get to know someone you haven’t talked to before, or go for a swim. Find things to do, so you’re not just sitting around wondering what if you’d be having more fun with a buzz.
5. Go to the gathering with a plan
Stop by early in the afternoon/evening. That way people will be just starting to party, and you are less likely to encounter a group of intoxicated people. It’s easy to have good conversation this way, and you can leave the party having made an appearance while still avoiding the hard partying.
6. Most of all, enjoy yourself
Social gatherings are meant to be fun. Don’t let the fact that you can’t have a drink ruin that! Sing along with the music, admire the fireworks, and have a great time (that you’ll remember in the morning)!