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OutpatientStayingSocialStaying social in outpatient alcohol recovery

Outpatient alcohol recovery is very successful with several different treatment options and programs.  People engaged in outpatient recovery face many challenges, however.  Many individuals want to remain engaged in family and social life while recovering.  In fact, that is what leads some to participate in outpatient recovery vs. inpatient recovery.  But a fine line exists between what behaviors will lead back to addiction and what will strengthen recovery.

For example, there are always occasions for social “get togethers” where alcohol is a big part of the occasion.  People connect, chat, and often even do business over a glass of wine.  For those in outpatient alcohol recovery who still want to come to the party, it can be tricky to survive while staying sober.

Although many people rely on alcohol to loosen them up and relax, it is interesting to observe what occurs when alcohol is not longer part of the scene.  Many would think the once social butterflies would retreat but the opposite is true.  In fact, individuals who have recently undergone outpatient alcohol recovery find that it’s absolutely possible to enjoy the social scene while sober.  Most find that they don’t feel as out of place as they thought they would and that their conversations still flow normally. Simply stated, one doesn’t have to drink to make things more interesting.

When some people are still in outpatient recovery, they prefer to keep their new sobriety to themselves.  This is also possible!  “Mocktails” are cocktails without alcohol that can be enjoyed without any one else noticing the difference.  Those in outpatient alcohol recovery can arm themselves with a mocktail to avoid questions they may not want to answer.  Also, people will stop getting offered other (possibly alcohol containing) drinks if they have a mocktail in hand.   Some popular mocktails include: virgin mary, atomic cat, and a nojito.

Another hint for those looking to not make alcohol the center of the party/gathering is to find other ways to have fun.  Find a way to spend the time.  Play foosball or test out your pool or ping-pong skills; try dancing or karaoke and turn the event into something that’s more exciting. Staying sober in outpatient alcohol recovery will always be a process, but there are ways to remain socially engaged while recovering.