As you learned in outpatient alcohol treatment, people freshly out of addiction treatment must adapt to an entirely new way of living once they become sober. This includes learning how to be around people who may still drink and who have not yet considered that they may also need alcohol rehab centers. Of course, it’s always best to avoid people who show symptoms of alcohol abuse when you’re trying to maintain your sobriety.
When you can’t avoid socializing with people who still drink and who deny the need for alcohol treatment, one thing you can do is look for other sober people at the gathering. If some people are drinking and playing games, you can join in the fun without having to drink yourself. Just make sure you excuse yourself if things start getting too uncomfortable or others don’t support your sobriety even though they know you have completed outpatient alcohol treatment.
Stay Close to the People You Met in Outpatient Alcohol Rehab
Counselors at alcohol rehab centers recommend creating new circles of friends with people who understand that you struggle with symptoms of alcohol abuse. There’s something about the process of going through alcohol abuse treatment together that helps people with similar struggles bond together. The benefit of completing an outpatient alcohol rehab program is that most of the participants are likely to be local to the area. That makes it easy to get together for coffee or another activity that doesn’t involve drinking alcohol. With inpatient alcohol rehab, people tend to come from all over the country.
Know Your Own Limits
Some people who have completed alcohol treatment have no issue socializing with others who drink while the situation is too tempting and uncomfortable for others who have completed outpatient alcohol rehab. You know your own comfort level and the likelihood of returning to active symptoms of alcohol abuse. The last thing you want to do is end up back in alcohol abuse treatment so soon after completing it. Remember that it’s not the 10th drink that leads people back to active addiction but the first drink.
Finding fun and new things to do that don’t involve drinking can be challenging. Counselors in outpatient alcohol treatment and inpatient alcohol rehab don’t try to hide this fact. While one of the goals of alcohol rehab centers is to prepare people for a new sober life, alcohol abuse treatment counselors only have limited time to do so. Even if you attend a holistic alcohol treatment program that doesn’t push the idea of having a sponsor, it’s a good idea to connect with a mentor who has been out of alcohol abuse treatment longer than you have. Checking in regularly with your peers who have also completed programs at alcohol rehab centers is equally important, but a person with more sobriety can tell you what he or she did in certain social situations without giving into drinking again.
Share Your Experience with Others Who Need Help
If someone in your social circle still drinks, seeing you happy and living a sober life can give him or her the inspiration to seek inpatient alcohol rehab or outpatient alcohol treatment. This person might observe you for a while and then approach you to find out how you managed to give up drinking. As you remember from your drinking days, there’s little point in discussing going to treatment with someone who isn’t ready to take that step. However, sharing what worked for you can be just the inspiration that someone else needs to seek a healthier life for themselves that doesn’t involve alcohol.