Holidays, Social Gatherings, Substance Use

4 Tips to Stay Sober at Parties this Fall

With the fall holidays approaching, social and work-related parties abound! But usually, these parties offer alcohol – and this can cause people in recovery (or people struggling with alcohol use disorder) to fall prey to the urge to drink.

But with a little planning, we can dodge the urge to drink and not fall prey to alcohol. Here are four tips to stay sober while going out this holiday season.

To make parties this season easier and more fun with less pressure, we’ve put together a simple list of tips & tricks to stay sober.

1. Make a Plan

Make a plan to stay sober. Don’t take staying sober lightly. Understand the evening will include alcohol and decide to not drink. Make a promise to yourself. Write your promise down on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket. “Tonight, I promise myself I will not drink. I know it will be hard because there will be alcohol all around. But tomorrow morning, I will be grateful I stayed away.”

If the urge gets strong throughout the evening, pull the paper out and recite your promise back to yourself.


2. Bring a Friend With You

Ask a friend to join you for the evening and be your “bodyguard,” keeping you company while guarding you from alcohol. And if no one is available to join you, ask a friend if you can keep their number handy.  Have that friend’s number cued up and ready to go on your phone if the urge arises.

Maybe that extra support is all you really needed – who knows until you try?


3. Keep a Fancy Non-Alcoholic Beverage In Your Hand

As soon as you arrive at the party, get a fancy non-alcoholic drink and carry it around with you the entire evening. Go back for seconds, thirds, fourths:)  Keeping your glass full will help keep the alcohol out!

Pro Tip: For some awesome zero-alcohol alternatives, check out our Mocktails! 7 Alcohol-Free Alternatives this Fall Season article we wrote last week!


4. Be Ready to Leave

Keep your keys or taxi money in your pocket at all times. If the urge gets too strong, take three steps backwards and walk out the door.

Sure people might say some things or shoot confused looks your way, but isn’t your sobriety worth it?


With a little bit of planning, fighting the urge to drink can be managed. Alcoholism is a monster, and although difficult to permanently slay the monster, it is possible to keep the monster at bay and take steps to prevent relapse or over drinking.

Water Gap Wellness is a Substance Use and Mental Health Disorder treatment center located on the Appalachian Trail in Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania. Water Gap Wellness’s programs are certified by the Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs of Pennsylvania and by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Additionally, the Water Gap Wellness programs have received the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission – an achievement attained by only 7% of the nation’s treatment centers.

Our programs offer treatment six hours a day, six days a week, have a psychiatrist on-site every day, offer two private sessions weekly by trauma-trained counselors, offer group sessions daily and outdoor adventures led by a NOLS-certified guide.

If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol or substance use, reach out to our friendly admissions counselors now. They are standing by ready to help.  1-833-949-4673

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