Strategies For Non-Drinkers To Navigate Parties

If you have been invited to parties, you are likely going to be invited to drink alcohol. While it is difficult to avoid alcohol altogether during these get-togethers, here are some tips if you do not want to drink any alcohol.

1)     Water is your friend! Take a wine class or a cocktail glass and fill it with still water, sparkling water, or club soda. Most parties will have lime or lemon slices that you can put in your water so it looks more like a cocktail.

2)     Ask for a “virgin” drink or a “mocktail”. Most restaurants and bars will have a list of non-alcoholic drinks prepared with fruit or vegetable juice that look just like an alcoholic drink.

3)     Be a designated driver. If you volunteer to drive others home it is an easy “reason” not to drink alcohol at an event.

4)     Be prepared for others to offer you drinks. Think about a line you will say when others offer you alcoholic drinks. This can be as simple as “no, thanks” or “not tonight”. If you are really feeling creative you can come up with some other ones “I am going on a run tomorrow”, “I have to go visit my grandmother early tomorrow”, “I am on a no alcohol diet”, etc.

5)     Offer to get other people drinks. This way you can make your own non-alcoholic drink without having to draw attention to yourself.

6)     Let others know in advance you are not drinking alcohol. If you are going with trusted friend, remind them that you are not planning to drink any alcohol and you would like their support.

7)     Skip the party altogether! If you are working hard on sobriety and seeing alcohol will be a trigger for you, it may be necessary to skip the event. Don’t place yourself in a triggering environment unless you feel you have the tools and the support you need.

Live Mentally Healthy,
Dr. Jennie Byrne

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