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How to explain not Drinking during the Holidays to your Friends and Family

The holidays are a time for drinking and merriment and many people will encourage you to drink during this time. If you know you have a problem with alcohol or are a recovering alcoholic, then you will need to find a way to explain or at least refuse the numerous offers of alcohol. The holidays become a time of temptation for you rather than a time of celebration. There are many ways that you can explain not drinking, refuse a drink, or hide the fact that you are not drinking.

Tell the Truth

Although not necessary, with close friends and family it is probably wise to just explain what is going on. Simply explain that you and alcohol do not mix and you are spending the holidays without it. Telling the truth about your alcoholism often takes away the burden of finding creative ways to refuse alcohol.

You do not have to go into every detail of your treatment or why you decided to stop drinking. You can simply tell those you wish to know that you are not drinking and this should be the end of it. Those that truly care about you will understand.

Say that you are the Designated Driver

According to the National Traffic and Highway Safety Administration, drunk driving accidents increase dramatically during the holidays. By saying that you are a designated driver you instantly quash any suspicion or thought of offering you a drink. This excuse works even better if you are actually designated driver. If you are intent on staying sober, being the designated driver is an excellent way to keep yourself from drinking.

By being the designated driver, even at your own party, you can make sure that everyone remains safe for the evening. Many recovering alcoholics take this position during the holidays both to avoid drinking and to make sure that no one else gets behind the wheel drunk.

Simply Refuse the Offer

say no

No one is obligated to drink; it’s okay to say no.

Many people make a bigger deal out of not drinking than they have to. You can simply refuse a drink. There is nothing wrong with saying, “No, thank you, but I will take a soda.” In today’s society with so many people deciding not to drink, refusing to drink is not unheard of. There are a variety of excuses that you could use but simply refusing usually works just fine.

Fake It

Of course, do not fake being drunk but have a glass in your hand. Make sure that it looks similar to a popular beverage and when asked if you want a drink simply say you already have one.

If you are Comfortable Explain

Although telling the truth is often the best option, it is not always the easiest. You only truly have to explain why you are not drinking if you feel that you need to. Some people believe that quitting alcohol is a private thing while others want to shout it from the rooftops.

If you are in recovery or part of a rehab program, explain what you are doing only if you feel comfortable. There are many recovery options available some of them ask you to be up front about it while others remain completely anonymous. How you explain the fact that you are not drinking is up to you. For more information on explaining your program or for information on the various rehab programs available, call us at 800-839-1686Who Answers?.

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Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) could be forwarded to SAMHSA or a verified treatment provider. Calls are routed based on availability and geographic location.

The AlcoholicsAnonymous.com helpline is free, private, and confidential. There is no obligation to enter treatment. In some cases, AlcoholicsAnonymous.com could charge a small cost per call, to a licensed treatment center, a paid advertiser, this allows AlcoholicsAnonymous.com to offer free resources and information to those in need by calling the free hotline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses.

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