How to Handle Social Outings Without Drinking

Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on April 5, 2021.

After a long week at work, you deserve a fun evening with friends. If you don't drink or want to hold back on drinking, that means you are specifically looking forward to a sober night out. Alcohol isn't required for you and your friends to unwind and make some memories together.

If you're nervous about going out with friends while avoiding alcohol, we have a few tips to set yourself up for a great evening.

3 Ways to Handle Outings Without Drinking

While drinking may seem like the main event of a social outing, there's no reason it has to be. Here are a few ways to prepare yourself for a sober night out.

1. Be Ready to Answer a Few Questions

There's nothing wrong with an evening out with old friends. Just remember that you and your friends go way back, so they may expect you to drink with them as you may have in the past. If they ask you what you want to drink and you reject the offer, they may have a few questions.

You don't have to explain yourself, but remember that you made a decision that you believe is better for you and the life you live. Work on building yourself up so you can confidently and politely respond to your friends without feeling guilty. Their reactions may not be favorable at first, but real friends should respect your decision not to drink.

2. Choose the Right Crowd

If you are wondering how to avoid drinking when going out, one of the best things you can do is choose your association wisely. Getting together with your college drinking pals or high school friends may bring back old memories, and your friends may encourage you to have just one drink that can then turn into more. Instead, maybe it's time to hang out with different or newer friends.

Whoever you choose, ensure you are surrounding yourself with people who will understand your decision and won't add unnecessary pressure to your evening. You may find that the right friends won't even order drinks from the bar. Instead, they'll join you and indulge in a soda or water with fresh lemon.

3. Choose the Right Activity

When you think of sober activities, the bar and most clubs are out of the picture. If you and your friends do want to spend time in a club, consider looking for an alcohol-free one where you can avoid the pressure to drink.

That said, it might be better to choose a whole new atmosphere that doesn't remind you of previous nights spent drinking. Consider some of the following ideas for going out without drinking:

  • Cultural events: Art displays, museum tours and theater performances can make for a great sober night out.
  • Amusement parks: Festivals, theme parks and parades offer plenty of excitement and lots of tasty treats to enjoy.
  • Small-town fun: You might be surprised by all the sober activities your town has to offer. You can catch a movie, go mini-golfing or even plan a camping trip.

Let Diamond House Detox Help You Take Your Life Back

If you're not sure how to have fun without drinking, Diamond House Detox can help you build the life you want. All of our clients receive individualized treatment and aftercare plans for the best chance at a successful recovery. Browse our programs and contact us today if you have any questions.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Diamond House Detox
Vicky is a board certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She began her nursing career in healthcare by working in the intensive care unit, and then an inpatient psychiatric hospital. After realizing the mental health needs of both the patients and the families she served, she became a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Throughout her experience working with clients, she has developed a passion for those with dual diagnoses and specializes in helping individuals recognize the issues driving their substance use. This recognition has been crucial to the individual’s success in treatment. Vicky opened Diamond House Detox so that she can address these issues early on in a therapeutic environment to allow clients to transition to the next level in their recovery.
Vicky Magobet
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