Handling Social Situations, Sober

Recovering Addicts May Fear Social Gatherings Post-Treatment

For a recovering addict, face-to-face social interaction can be extremely stressful and anxiety-inducing. During their time struggling with addiction, they may have leveraged the effects of substances of abuse in order to ease their social anxiety. Utilizing alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism is very dangerous and can lead to a dependency on alcohol. 

Since those who were addicted to drugs or alcohol for a prolonged time have relied on these substances, they may not know how to handle social gatherings without the help of substances. There are various ways in which to manage social situations post-treatment without having the urge to turn to drugs or alcohol. 

Don’t Jeopardize Your Sobriety

For a recovering addict, even one drink can spiral back into addiction, jeopardizing all of the hard work that you have put into obtaining sobriety. Knowing how to handle situations that may trigger you to use can help you maintain your sobriety. 

Some strategies to remember when attending a social gathering where there may be triggers are:

  • Bring your own non-alcoholic beverage
  • Excuse yourself if you feel temptation and the urge to use
  • Keep relaxed
  • Step outside and take a breather if you are feeling overwhelmed

There is also no problem with letting fellow party attendees know that you are a recovering alcohol abuser. People will respect your decision to remain sober and will encourage you to continue on your journey toward sustained sobriety. 

Underlying Anxiety and Mental Health Disorders

It’s not uncommon for an individual who is recovering from addiction to struggle with an underlying anxiety disorder. There are a number of mental disorders that can drive a person to use drugs and alcohol and these substances often ease the side effects that come with mental disorders. By determining the root cause of the addiction and the mental illness, which can be determined and diagnosed through a patient evaluation and assessment, the right treatment can be established. 

If certain people, places, or things trigger the desire to use drugs or alcohol, it’s important that you refrain from associating with them. This may involve taking a new route home from work, as you may have often frequented a bar not far from your office where you used to drink excessively. This may also mean unfriending certain people as they can be a very bad influence on your new, sober lifestyle. It’s important to remain confident throughout your journey toward long-lasting sobriety and never get discouraged. Setbacks are simply part of the recovery process and throughout your journey toward sobriety, you will learn how to manage these setbacks by avoiding certain factors that pressure you to use. 

Never put your sobriety at risk as you have worked hard to obtain this level of success and need to work hard to maintain it. If you feel as though you are risking your sobriety in order to be social, perhaps more time is required to focus on yourself and how to manage your addiction without feeling the overwhelming pressure when you are in social situations. 

Sources:

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/social-anxiety-disorder-more-than-just-shyness/index.shtml

https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/mental-health

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.