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5 Ways to Turn Down a Drink and Save Your Sobriety


Group of friends hanging out at a small party
Don’t let people pressure you into drinking alcohol. Practice your response for turning down a drink in advance and stick to it!

Social pressure is one of the most common addiction relapse triggers, especially during the early stages of recovery. One way to limit your risk is to avoid situations that are likely to revolve around drinking alcohol or consuming other drugs. Sounds pretty simple right? Well, in theory it is… until someone offers you a drink when you weren’t expecting it. Now what?

Get ready for 5 great ways to turn down a drink so you can “just say no” like a real pro! The next time someone offers you a drink, try one of these responses:

1. “No thanks, I’m watching my diet:” Alcohol contains a ton of calories, and this is a perfectly valid response that many people will understand or relate to.

2. “I can’t, it will interfere with my medication:” Many medications don’t mix with alcohol and can cause serious problems. If pressed, keep it simple. Say you’re taking Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen.

3. “Thanks, but I need to pass. Doctor is concerned about my blood pressure:” People who have high blood pressure should avoid drinking alcohol as it can worsen the problem.

4. “No thanks, my stomach feels weird:” Well have days when we just don’t feel our best. No one can blame you for passing on alcohol with an uneasy stomach.

5. “Sorry, I have to drive soon:” This one is great because not only is it a valid excuse, it also gives you an out if you need to bail on the party to avoid further temptation.

What to Do if People Keep Pressuring You to Drink

Any of the above responses should be enough to get you out of most situations. But, in some cases, you may receive repeated offers. When turning down multiple offers to drink, stick to your original response. Don’t worry about sounding like a broken record. Repetition can show people that you’re serious about not drinking alcohol.

Bonus Tip: Turning Down a Drink without Saying a Word

Most parties or social gatherings will have some type of non-alcoholic beverage for guests. Keep one of these in your hands at all times. Then, whenever someone tries to offer you alcohol, simply hold up your beverage, indicating that you’re not ready for another drink. Message received – loud and clear!

Your Sobriety is Something to be Proud Of

The stigma surrounding addiction keeps many of us from seeking the drug rehab we need. Remember, your life as a recovering addict is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it could be a source of inspiration for others struggling with similar substance abuse problems. One final way to turn down a drink is to be honest about your history with substance abuse. Of course, this approach may not be right for everyone or in every situation, so use your best judgement. When in doubt, remember these tips for turning down a drink or come up with your own response in advance.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction, The Raleigh House is here to help. Check out our drug addiction treatment infographic, or contact us today.

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