Recovering alcoholics know that it can be extremely dangerous to be around any alcohol for fear of relapse. Holiday parties make this conviction very difficult to carry out as there seems to be an unending supply of spiked eggnog, alcoholic punches and specialty drinks for celebrating the season. Short of staying home and not celebrating at any parties, here are some simple ways that recovering alcoholics can make it through work parties as well as celebrations with family and friend without giving in to their impulses for immediate pleasure.

  • First, these individuals should feel free to tell other partygoers that they will not be having a drink. There should be no shame in requesting a sparkling water, a fruit juice or an iced ginger ale. Just as smokers find that they can ease their habit by keeping their hands busy with something else, recovering alcoholics can do the same by keeping their hands full of appetizers or non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Second, partygoers should consider bringing along a buddy who also makes the promise not to drink alcohol. This can significantly decrease the peer pressure and the feeling of being alone. In addition, buddies can check with each other throughout the night to ensure that they have not imbibed.
  • Third, be sure to stay away from parties that are sure to include heavy drinking with pressure to drink. Some office parties can be like this. When one knows that temptation will be great, it is best to avoid the temptation altogether. However, at some parties, the drinking does not start until later in the night. In these cases, individuals can attend the beginning of the party and simply leave before the heavy drinking begins.
  • Finally, there may come a time when one gives in to the temptation to drink. Rather than feeling like a failure and giving up altogether, this person should admit that they have messed up and immediately leave the party to avoid further temptation. This can actually help to strengthen the future resolve not to drink by showing the person how much self-control they have.

[su_note note_color=”#F0F0F0″]At First Step Recovery Center in Victorville, California, Dr. Matney offers a variety of individualized treatment plans for alcoholism. These plans often make use of groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, which can create long-term success for those who have struggled with addictions to alcohol.[/su_note]