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When Someone Buys You a Drink After You’ve Quit

man discusses alcohol triggers with therapist

Early sobriety comes with its fair share of challenges—some are expected, others, not so much.  One circumstance you might not anticipate until it happens is being bought an alcoholic drink that you didn’t ask for.  Someone attempting to flirt, or a well-meaning acquaintance that is unaware of your sobriety, will eventually send a drink your way at a restaurant or an event, and you will be put in the awkward situation of turning down a gift someone just spent their hard-earned money on.  There are several ways of handling this scenario, but it is important to keep in mind that no amount of social pressure is enough reason to jeopardize your sobriety. After becoming sober, you may start to see certain social customs in our culture as odd.  For example, it is somewhat strange that someone you don’t know would send you an alcoholic beverage without knowing if you drink, or that people often spend money on addictive poisons to give as gifts and gestures of comradery.  But this is the reality we live in, and you aren’t going to spend the rest of your sober life lecturing others on the dangers of alcohol. When someone sends a drink your way, you have a few options that allow you to remain polite and grateful.

Your Recovery is Both Your Right and Responsibility 

If you are bought a drink by someone who hands it to you and walks away, it is easy to say, “thank you”, and set the drink down and ignore it.  If you feel it will be a trigger sitting in front of you, pass it to a friend that drinks or back to the bartender once the buyer is out of sight.  Of course, if the person who hands you the drink is sitting next to you, or if you simply wish to remain more authentic, it is perfectly acceptable to say, “No, thank you.  I don’t drink.” This might throw some people off, but you don’t owe anyone an explanation. If they insist on buying you something, ask for an iced tea or coffee.

Sobriety requires many small changes, all of which culminate in huge improvements to your life.  If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, now is the time to reach out for help. At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor, you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.