Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on June 5, 2019.
You can still have fun at a party without alcohol. In fact, you can have more fun at social gatherings without drinking. You have a clear vision of what happened and will remember all the funny things your friends said and did last night. Plus, you'll wake up in the morning hangover-free.
The answer to this question depends on how drunk your friend is or how late the night is. If they haven't caught a buzz and you are comfortable talking about why you are not drinking, then go for it. If your friend is already a few drinks in, you can either give a short answer like "I'm driving," or "I'm cutting back," and then change the subject.
Peer pressure to drink is prevalent among college students, but often continues well into adulthood. The easiest way to divert the conversation is to ask your friend a question about work or the rest of their plans for the weekend. Depending on the group and your relationship with them, you may want to avoid promoting your sobriety — some people can get defensive about alcohol when they are inebriated.
You can have a drink in your hand for the entire night without consuming any alcohol. If everyone is drinking out of red solo cups, put some soda in a red solo cup. When you aren't holding a cup, the host and your friends will more than likely offer you a drink. When you decline, it will trail off into "why not?"
The safest way to avoid the temptation or an accident is to make your own drink. Try sipping on creative soft drinks like fancy lemonades, elderberry tonic, and Radler beer. If someone offers you a drink, you may want to just be polite and accept it. Then, you can either pay it forward and pass it someone else or subtly place it back on the counter when no one is looking.
Being sober at a party has plenty plus sides, such as that you'll:
If going to a party is going to jeopardize your road to recovery, then avoid attending and stay in with your closest friends or family. You don't want all your hard work to go to waste for one night that you won't even remember. Whether or not you decide to go to social gatherings depends on how far along you are in recovery, as well as how confident you are in yourself during that given time.
If you do go, remind yourself how strong you are and that a relapse simply wouldn't be worth it. Be yourself and enjoy a fun night out with your friends without alcohol.