Is It Okay to Drink in Front of Your Newly Sober Friends?

Alcohol recovery support

You head out to a celebratory dinner with a friend who just won a hard-fought battle against alcoholism. Should you order a round of drinks or should you make it a dry night?

To Drink or Not to Drink

It’s a tough decision, and no one has a clear-cut answer. Some say it’s best to ignore the issue and assume former drinkers have learned to control their cravings. Other say it’s irresponsible to drink in front of those who are struggling to overcome an addiction. Here are few tips to help you handle the situation.

Don’t Force a Decision

Know a friend who is recovering from alcohol addiction? Don’t ask them if they want a drink. That puts them in an awkward position and forces them to explain. If they want to discuss their addiction, they will. If they don’t, it’s best to avoid the topic.

If You Care, Don’t Tempt Your Friends

Drink in front of a recovering alcoholic, and you could put their recovery at risk. That may have life-altering consequences. If you care about someone’s health and happiness, be responsible. Don’t pass glasses or bottles under a former drinker’s nose. Don’t offer them a sip. Don’t carelessly splash alcohol around. Finally, refrain from drinking whenever possible, particularly if your friend is fresh to the recovery process. In other words, don’t be inconsiderate.

Don’t Draw Attention to the Problem

If you can refuse a drink without making a fuss, that’s best for everyone. If you can’t, then order like normal. Draw everyone’s attention to the problem, and you may make the situation worse. You could unintentionally embarrass your friend, or even send him or her on a guilt trip. Abstain when possible, but be smart about how, where, and when you do it.

The Takeaway

Ultimately, it’s the ex-drinker’s responsibility to manage his or her own recovery. Those who can’t handle the temptation probably shouldn’t frequent alcohol-heavy venues. That being said, life doesn’t end after sobriety, and social ostracism could give rise to depression, which could lead to regression. Striking the right balance may seem tough, but a little empathy and some prudence will go a long way.

Know someone who needs help battling an addiction to alcohol? Contact Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers to learn more about how friends and family can help in the addiction recovery process.