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How to Deny A Drink

Former addicts understand that undergoing treatment for an alcohol addiction is a process that requires hard work and persistence. However, this is not to say the effort stops once the treatment is over. For former addicts, sobriety is a choice that must be consciously made every day. Those who are now living outside of a halfway house or treatment facility must understand that it is very possible and very likely to be put into a situation where they are offered a drink, and it’s important to know how to properly navigate these types of scenarios.

If you are newly sober and participating in social situations, it is likely this will happen more often than you imagined. People will probably offer you drinks at dinners, bars, parties, concerts, events, and even at brunch. They may be offering you a drink to treat you to something, or to get you invested into a conversation with them. While their intentions are probably friendly, you might instantly feel all kinds of pressure that can overwhelm you: the pressure to accept, the pressure of explaining your situation, the pressure of politely refusing the offer, the pressure of hurting the person’s feelings, and even the pressure of discomfort or embarrassment.

The unfortunate truth is that sometimes being open about not drinking can feel harder than not drinking in the first place.  Some people are uncomfortable with talking about their former addiction, or don’t want it to hinder their social life. Not to worry – Treatment Alternatives, an inpatient rehab in Boca can share simple tips on how to deny a drink.

Understand your options. The very first tip we recommend is to recognize that you have various options in this situation. You don’t necessarily have to deny the drink, get upset, leave, or even get into a conversation about the fact that you don’t drink.  You can simply accept the drink and just not drink it – it’s as easy as that. If, however, you don’t feel this would be the best option for you, Treatment Alternatives inpatient rehab in Boca suggests simple solutions like “re-gifting” the drink to a friend, or gracefully declining.

Keep It simple. A lot of times, people feel the need to justify why they are saying no to something, but consider this: we don’t typically question people on why they’re having their third drink of the night, so why do we harp on someone who won’t even have one? Always remember that you do not need to justify your denial at any time. A simple “no thank you” is just fine. If they persist, repeat yourself, or just say “I don’t drink.” – this should do the trick. If, however, you would like to provide an explanation, go for it.

Practice ahead of time. Getting the right response down ahead of time can make the situation much easier to control. To get yourself comfortable with handling the scenario of someone unexpectedly buying you a drink, try practicing simple excuses that require little to no explanation:

Say thank you and offer it to a friend

“No thank you, I’m the designated driver”

“Thank you, but I’m pacing myself”

“Thank you, but I’d rather not drink”

“No thank you, I’m not drinking this evening.”

“Thank you, but I’m not feeling well tonight.”

Don’t take other people’s reactions personally.  After kindly denying a drink offer from someone, it’s important to know that they may have a reaction that isn’t exactly what you hoped for. The professionals at Treatment Alternatives inpatient rehab in Boca remind you not to take it personally. It is likely they are not familiar with your circumstances. Remind yourself why you’re staying strong in your sobriety, and brush it off.

Above all else, never put pressure on yourself to drink. The first few times you are offered a drink you may feel embarrassed and wind up accepting the drink to avoid an awkward situation or making someone feel bad. But remember, there is a fine line between being considerate of another person’s feelings and defending your own boundaries.

Following this guide on how to deny a drink from our inpatient rehab in Boca can ensure you navigate this situation with grace, comfort, and success.

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