Here at Mountainview Recovery in the beautiful Asheville, North Carolina area would like to take the time to share some useful tips and ideas about having fun and/or “partying” without the need to mix alcohol and drugs.
If you happen to be a young person in early recovery, please pay close attention…
You need to know when to avoid a “party” that you may soon regret attending in the first place. When you’re ready to hit the scene after getting some solid recovery footing under you…
#RecoveryIsPossible #RecoveryIsFun #RecoveryIsNotBoring #RecoveryWorks
Fun While In Substance Abuse Recovery / Abstaining From Using Drugs And Alcohol
Leaving old habits behind might be challenging and tricky. If you used to mix alcohol with drugs, it can be really uncomfortable to go out again. Can nightlife ever really be the same? If you’re in recovery, you actually might want to pass it up for a while…
Why would you suggest such a thing, oh my gosh?
Being near the scene can be dangerous. Just exposing yourself to triggers can lead you to relapse. If you are in treatment, it’s highly advisable you stay away from direct triggers. Sounds. Smells. Images. These are the things that can jeopardize the effort and progress on your road to reaching and maintaining sobriety.
So how do you party when in recovery? Is it possible to have a good time without the influence of drugs and/or alcohol?
Of course, you can. Keep reading further to find out how to protect yourself when the environment and people around you act as a temptation. Plus, read about alternative fun activities that do not include the use of alcohol and drugs. All your questions and/or personal experiences about partying without mixing alcohol and drugs are welcomed at the end.
Can I Party While Clean And Sober / No Using Alcohol And Drugs?
Recovery programs like ours here at Mountainview Recovery exist to teach addicts that sobriety is not boring! On the contrary, recovery from addiction to any sort of mind and/or mood-altering substance abuse opens up a lot of new opportunities. Those of you addicts and alcoholics on this beautiful journey and/or path called “recovery” just need to learn and practice some alternatives to bring tons of fun and joy without exposing yourself to danger.
Who should refrain from going out to the hot new “cocktails” and “mocktails” lounge downtown and get to the partying?
If going out endangers your recovery from abusing alcohol and drugs once again, you should DEFINITELY stay home… like we said before… solid footing, solid footing, folks…
At least for now…
“I graduated from a residential inpatient drug treatment program a month ago… I got this! Time to hit the club and meet some ladies while staying COMPLETELY SOBER!”
The only thing you “got” is a good chance at relapsing in that club with those “ladies,” – sit down, relax, take it easy, enjoy a movie with a loved one and eat some popcorn. You will thank us later!
Too many of us here at Mountainview Recovery and others in recovery from substance abuse have uttered similar words, then did the walk of shame down the road after relapsing…
God forbid someone does make a bad decision, because it only takes one to relapse, believe that… get the courage to make the right decision after a recent wrong one!
We love our graduates a.k.a. The Mountainview Alumni. We work very hard to keep in touch with our graduates because of the bad news of recovery relapse that flys at us daily. Often, very unexpectedly.
When triggers of addiction spark and fire off cravings within us to use, people oftentimes feel scared, anxious, worried, and confused…
When you make a decision to quit mind-altering drugs, some situations are just not healthy. Seeing a set of friends who look like they are having fun. Or, hearing the sound a lighter hit glass. Or, listening to that song that brings back nostalgia and a desire to get high.
These are all triggers that might set off a desire for you to reach out for drugs and alcohol again…
Theoretically, there are two types of triggers:
1. Internal triggers, which usually manifest themselves as negative feelings.
2. External triggers, that include people, places, things, and situations that provoke you to get back to your old substance abusive behaviors after a period of abstinence.
When you are in early addiction recovery you’ve just started developing a sober lifestyle. You aren’t quite used to feeling subtler emotions. We who are in recovery have all been through it. You’re used to getting high…and dealing with the lows. But, we just don’t have healthy habits ingrained into our brain pattern yet.
So, it’s best to avoid:
1. Parties at clubs where you used to drink alcohol or use drugs.
2. Acquaintances that still drink and take drugs.
3. Visiting places while you are in an emotional period where drugs and alcohol are expected to be present.
In fact, a night out can be super confusing. While it can be a learning experience, you need to be in a really stable place in early recovery. This is because hitting the nightlife can make you feel vulnerable. It might even lower your enthusiasm for change, or impact your self-esteem…both of which eventually may increase the possibility of relapse.
The Cycle of Craving
So, here’s a little deeper explanation into why you might want to wait. I’m not suggesting that you not have fun. I’m just saying that changing the way you have fun can be worth it.
Addiction triggers involve high-risk situations. They are viewed as stressors that spark a thought, feeling or action which makes you desire drugs/alcohol over and over again. When a trigger strikes in you get a sudden and unexpected urge to use again, it’s called a “craving”. In short, addiction triggers usually lead you to cravings and cravings stimulate your urges to use.
This is why one of the main focuses of rehab is to teach you to become more aware of your specific triggers. Once you identify the trigger, you can learn how to control the sequence of events. Perhaps you can avoid the trigger totally. Or, you can learn how to change your related thought pattern. Or, maybe you intervene on the behavior-level.
This is possible only through education. If you learn successful craving or coping management skills, you’ll necessarily learn techniques for fighting craving in recovery.
Refusing an Offer
Learning to say NO takes a little practice. Relapse prevention tips and refusal lines are taught during every addiction treatment program. But we’ve noticed that you need to actually practice these lines BEFORE you’re in a tight spot. Here are some suggestions about what you can say/do in different situations.
1. First, go to events where there are no drugs and alcohol.
2. Second, connect with friends who support your decision not to use drugs. Ask for support from these friends when others become pushy in their offerings.
3. When in a problematic situation, make an excuse to leave. Just get out of there now!
When you are offered with drugs or alcohol, use definitive refusal lines such as:
- I’m good.
- No, thank you.
- I can’t.
- I have some medical issues right now.
- I pass.
I made the mistake in the “early recovery stages” of trying to “explain it all”. No one who’s using wants to hear why you’re not using. They just want you to join them so that they can feel less alone.
So, the bottom line is that you don’t feel like you need to explain yourself. No one needs to “get it.” They probably don’t want to.
Alternatives To Traditional “Partying”
Those of us in the clean & sober community has many members. Most of us know what it’s like to wake up the next morning, blacked out. But just because we’re not using doesn’t mean that we’ve lost the will to have fun. Recovery is about building a new life, one that drugging and drinking parties are not a part of anymore.
If you want an alternative way to party – think about hosting your friends at your house. You can be the host of a sober party. You don’t need to socialize with just people in recovery. But make sure people know that substances are off-limits.
Some people like board games. Other people just party around food and music. Still, others meet and then go to an event together. Whatever. Just get some people together and find something you all like to do. Talk to people at the party and connect. That’s more than a party – that’s creating a community…
Or, find hobbies and fun things to do that DO NOT involve alcohol/drugs but are still entertaining such as table sports, darts, card games, going to the zoo, or to the movies. Dancing is one of the most recommended ways of lifting your mood…
Finally – like the Boy Scouts of America, always “be prepared.” If you’re going to an event where mind and/or mood-altering chemicals will be present…
- Choose mocktails instead of cocktails.
- Use your refusal lines.
- Plan an escape if temptations get too great.
At some point, mixing alcohol and drugs gets old. It leads you down that same dead-end. Sometimes, a real, dead, dead, dead-end. God forbid. Stay strong friends.
Call (833) 489-4460 To Begin The Conversation Today! Regain Your Life. Make An Impact In The Lives Of Those You Know That May Be Struggling With Addiction and/or Alcoholism. Let Us Help. Mountainview Recovery offers treatment to those struggling with drug and alcohol abuse including addictions to opioids and non-opioid medications, heroin, fentanyl, prescription opioids, cocaine, crystal meth, benzodiazepines (like Xanax and Valium) and alcohol. Using advanced addiction recovery techniques, Mountainview Recovery extends its addiction rehabilitation services to individuals throughout North Carolina including, but certainly not limited to, Asheville, Weaverville, Alexander, Mars Hill, Hendersonville, and Waynesville, North Carolina.