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How To Handle Parties In Recovery.

A Guide to Sobriety in Social Settings

As the summer season heats up, invitations to parties and gatherings flood in, leaving many individuals in recovery wondering, "Can I still go to parties in recovery?" This question isn't just about socializing; it's about safeguarding one's sobriety amidst the allure of alcohol-fueled events. In this blog, we'll delve into the complexities of attending parties in recovery and explore strategies for maintaining sobriety while still enjoying social engagements.

Parties and Recovery: Can one still attend parties while safeguarding sobriety?

If you're in recovery, especially early recovery, the prospect of attending or hosting a party may seem daunting.

It's natural to feel apprehensive about being in social situations where alcohol is present, especially when you're still navigating the challenges of sobriety. However, it's important to remember that you have the power to prioritize your well-being and make choices that support your recovery journey.

  • Surround yourself with supportive friends or family members who understand and respect your commitment to sobriety.

  • Consider attending recovery-focused events or gatherings where alcohol is not part of the equation.

  • And if you do choose to attend a party where alcohol will be served, have a plan in place to cope with triggers and cravings, such as bringing a sober buddy or having an exit strategy if you feel uncomfortable.

Remember, your recovery is a journey, and it's okay to take things one step at a time.

Next Recovery Resident Outing

6 tips for attending parties

1.      Assessing the Situation: What Kind of Party Is It?

The first step in deciding whether to attend a party is assessing the environment. Is alcohol the centerpiece, or is it a family-friendly event? Understanding the nature of the gathering is crucial.

2.      Considering Motivations: Do We Have a Reason for Attending?

Before accepting an invitation, it's essential to evaluate our reasons for attending. Is it a celebration or a casual get-together? Understanding our motivations can guide our decisions.

3.      Evaluating Recovery: What Condition Is Our Recovery In?

Maintaining sobriety requires ongoing self-assessment. Are we actively engaged in recovery activities, or have we become complacent? Understanding the state of our recovery is paramount.

4.      Navigating Doubt: When in Doubt, Check Your Motives

Uncertainty about attending a party is common in recovery. Should we push through discomfort or prioritize self-care? Understanding our motives and seeking counsel can provide clarity.

5.      Utilizing Support: Use the Buddy System

The buddy system offers a lifeline in challenging situations. Bringing a sober friend to a party can provide support and accountability, enhancing our ability to navigate social settings safely.

6.      Celebrating  Sobriety

Parties in recovery require careful consideration, but they need not be off-limits. By assessing the situation, evaluating motivations, and utilizing support systems, individuals can confidently navigate social engagements while safeguarding their sobriety.


Hosting a Party Without Compromising Your Sobriety: A Guide.

(For Those In Early Recovery. It's often advisable to wait before attending parties or social events where alcohol is present until you have more time in recovery. Early recovery is a delicate phase where you're still learning to navigate life without substances, and being in environments where alcohol is readily available can pose significant challenges. During this time, focusing on your sobriety, building healthy habits, and strengthening your support system should take precedence over social gatherings where the risk of relapse may be higher. Taking the time to establish a solid foundation in your recovery will better equip you to handle such situations with confidence and resilience in the future. Remember, there's no rush, and prioritizing your well-being is key to long-term success in recovery.)

Hosting our own events can provide a safe alternative to attending parties where alcohol is prevalent. By creating alcohol-free environments and prioritizing supportive guests, individuals in recovery can enjoy socializing without jeopardizing their sobriety.

However, there are still some cautions to consider when planning your own event.

5 tips on hosting a party with alcohol

1. Decide on Alcohol Inclusion

First things first, you need to decide if your party will include alcohol at all. If you're comfortable staying sober in the presence of alcohol, you may choose to provide drinks for your friends. However, don't feel obligated to include alcohol just because others aren't sober. True friends who support your recovery will understand your hesitation to be around alcohol and will gladly sip on fancy mocktails instead.

2. Be Selective with Invitations

Don't invite just anyone. While it may feel rude to leave people out, inviting individuals who use or pressure you to use could lead to facing temptation you're not ready for. Stick to invitees who are aware of and encourage your path toward sobriety. Including an accountability buddy in your guest list can provide someone to lean on if you're feeling tempted.

3. Craft Nonalcoholic Party Drinks

Whether you choose to include alcohol or not, ensure there are nonalcoholic options available for everyone to enjoy. Cans of soda and bottled water are unlikely to impress anyone; instead, whip up sparkling beverages with inventive flavors. Just ensure alcoholic drinks are kept safely out of reach of children to prevent early experimentation.

4. Plan Activities and Icebreakers

Planning activities and icebreakers for your party ensures there are engaging moments when conversations naturally pause and helps kickstart the fun. Coordinate an event at a location that offers built-in activities or plan fun games to keep everyone entertained.

5. Consider Daytime Events

Hosting a daytime event can make it easier to plan an alcohol-free party. Scheduling your get-together during the day removes the expectation of alcohol and opens up more options for activities. Plus, it's easier to book venues and caterers for daytime events, especially if you have a large group.


Hosting a party while staying true to your sobriety is not only possible but empowering. By taking control of the environment, choosing your guest list wisely, and providing nonalcoholic options, you can create a fun and safe space for yourself and your friends.

Remember, your recovery journey is worth celebrating, and hosting your own party allows you to do so on your terms.

Whether you're marking a special occasion or simply enjoying each other's company, hosting a sober event reinforces your commitment to a healthy lifestyle and sets a positive example for others.

So go ahead, plan that party, and revel in the joy of connection and celebration without compromising your sobriety.

people tubing down river
Next Recovery's residents tubing down the river

Authors and Sources:

Original article: Admin, October 20, 2017, Lifelines Archive

Tips on Attending or Hosting Parties While in Recovery: Lifelines Archive, Mental & Emotional Health, Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP



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