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Drinking Around Someone in Recovery

You are having a great time at the party gulping down tasty mixed drinks and suddenly an old friend of yours who has quit drinking appears in sight! What should you do now? Should you hide away your pleasure of drinking your cocktail so that they aren’t tempted or should you continue to behave as if they never drank and were a teetotaler by birth? What about if you are having a family get together and someone from your family is in recovery? Do you refrain from drinking and tell the other guests to do the same?

Such a predicament is commonly encountered by people when they meet someone who is at a certain stage of his “life after drinking”. Abstaining from drinking yourself in the ex-drinker’s presence is certainly not always the solution because this can make them conscious of the effect of their presence. 

Here are few tips that will make you comfortable while drinking around an ex-drinker:

Act normal

The first thing you need to do is keep cool. You must know that not every drinker feels tempted by the sight and smell of alcohol. Do not take on the self-proclaimed onus of ensuring the ex-drinkers stability. However, what you must do is be kind and considerate just as you would be to others in the party. The difference between a drinker and an ex-drinker is just as large and as important as you wish to make it.

Don’t make a big deal

Not all ex-drinkers reveal their ex-drinker status. If you know that the person has quit drinking, there is no need to make it public by asking him or her if a drink is wanted. Be as casual with the ex-drinker as you would be with a drinker. Trying to force a drink on them will only result in making them more uncomfortable and will necessitate them to reveal that they have quit drinking; something which they might not dearly desire. 

Do not ostracize them

Do not discuss the ex-drinker’s drinking behavior or pattern just to strike a conversation. Most of the ex-drinkers are not “born again” types and may not like to discuss their previous or current drinking status and pattern in public.

Do not try to tempt 

As already mentioned, not all ex-drinkers get bothered by the sight of alcohol. An ex-drinker can be a wonderful host serving all types of wines to the guests and not tasting a drop themselves. However, there is a limit to the resistance they can show. It is out of form when you entice an ex-drinker by frequently passing drinks from right under their nose. Gentleness and consideration are appreciated by ex-drinkers when you are drinking next to them. 


These 4 tips can go a long way in allowing you to drink comfortably next to an ex-drinker without either tempting him to drink or you feeling guilty of enjoying the drink while he looks on!

Image: Flickr


Need help supporting someone currently in recovery? Trying to help a friend or loved one on their path to recovery can be complicated. At Pat Moore Foundation, we know that including friends and family is an important part of alcohol abuse treatment and long term recovery success. If you or a loved one need help with alcohol abuse, please contact us.