Staying Sober in The Heyday of a Drinking Culture

Last Updated: Sep 20th 2019

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Even when someone in Florida notices that they have been reaching for the bottle a little more often than they used to it can be hard for them to admit that they have a problem, but after the person gets the courage to go to a Broward County drug rehab and alcohol detox they may have cravings and triggers that are difficult to resist. And the way in which alcohol is ubiquitous in this culture, it is practically everywhere, may make it feel impossible to be able to successfully keep a hold of one’s sobriety. But the best way to stay sober in the face of this culture is to go into social events with a strategy in hand.


    1. You Don’t Have To Drink. It is always okay to say no to a drink. You do not have to tell the person offering that you’re an alcoholic, you don’t have to explain anything at all. No one can penalize you for not drinking. If you are looking to fly below the radar, non there are plenty of non alcoholic beverages you can have that look just like cocktails or beer.
    2. Order a mocktail. When you go to a bar, knowing that you can order any number of a non alcoholic beverages that will keep the questions about why you’re not drinking at bay, can help you maintain a sense of calm, and avoid the anxiety that comes along with having to divulge more than you may want to when you are not comfortable doing so. A lime and fizzy water is just one example of a refreshing beverage that looks for all the world like a vodka tonic.   
    3. Be the designated driver. Our society being what it is, almost every party or get together needs a designated driver. This gives someone who is trying to avoid drinking an easy way to both help their friends or loved ones and a way to go out and have a great night with friends but not feel weird about abstaining from intoxicating themselves.
    4. Tell Your Story. When you go out for happy hour with co-workers, or even at the Thanksgiving table with your family, people may not always be the most sensitive about your addiction and the lengths you had to go through to get sober and changing the way you live to remain that way. Sometimes they may push you hard to drink, not thinking about how it could change the new life you’re establishing for yourself. In these moments it is sometimes best to tell your story. If you feel comfortable doing so, let the people you are with know why you are refusing alcohol. Tell them about your addiction and how difficult it is to get the courage to get help. Be confident in your journey and ask them to please respect the boundaries that you put into place for yourself so that you can decide who you want to be rather than letting the alcohol decide. Often when people try to pressure someone to drink they don’t know the history behind the person’s relationship with alcohol. Telling your friends or loved ones a little more about your experience may open their eyes.



Treatment for Alcohol Addiction at South Florida detox, Broward County Drug Rehab

Regardless of the strategy you choose, the important thing is that you go in with a plan. If you already know what you are going to do to resist any pressure you feel to turn in your sobriety for a less awkward social atmosphere, you are more likely to actually resist temptation. Making the sometimes daily choice to say no to a drink when it is offered by a co-worker, friend, or family member is hard and on-going work, but it is vital.  If you went through the struggle of treatment at a facility like 1st Step Behavioral Health, you know that getting treatment for alcohol addiction is harrowing. It isn’t something one does lightly and it is something that changes your life, or that should. So think through your strategies before your social engagements. Be ready to make the right choices to protect your sobriety.

Or perhaps you’ve just realized that you have a problem with alcohol and you want to start reducing your alcohol content. These strategies can help with that goal as well. However, if you find that you struggle to avoid drinking when something seems stressful, or if something in your life starts to feel off – if you are using alcohol as a coping mechanism to get through life then you are self medicating. You are quelling your anxiety and fear with alcohol, then you should consider seeking out help.

At 1st Step Behavioral Health we offer quality treatment with qualified therapists and medical professionals who will monitor your wellbeing and make sure that you have a treatment plan molded to your specific needs and the unique struggles that come with any trauma you may have experienced or any dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders you may have. If you have any questions about treatment for alcohol addiction in South Florida call 1st Step to learn more.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.