Summer is upon us, and that means barbecues, beach parties and other social events. Entertaining often revolves around alcohol. But what if someone in your family or circle of friends is going through outpatient alcohol rehab? You want to support this person’s recovery, and welcome him or her at your gatherings, but how can you do so without subjecting your friend or loved one to the temptation to drink?
It’s helpful to remember that many recovering alcoholics have no problem hanging around with others who are consuming alcohol responsibly. As long as you follow these rules of thumb, everyone can have a good time at your social event.
Let Guests in Recovery Know That Alcohol Will Be Served in Advance
If you know that one of your party guests is going through outpatient alcohol rehab, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to refrain from serving alcohol to your other guests. But it’s polite to let your recovering friend or loved one know in advance that alcohol will be served at the party. That way, he or she can decide whether or not he or she feels up to such a situation. Your recovering friend can also plan an escape route from the situation if he or she begins to feel overwhelmed by the presence of others consuming alcohol.
Consider Hosting a Dry Event
Of course, if you want to make your party a dry event, you certainly can. If you’re concerned that people will be upset about the absence of alcohol at your party – if you suspect they might expect it – you can try a couple of strategies to make the absence of booze go over more smoothly. You might consider emphasizing that the event is family-friendly; encourage your friends to bring their children and provide kid-friendly activities. When children are around, most people are okay with not drinking. Alternatively, you could plan the party for the middle of the day; most people won’t expect booze to flow freely at a lunchtime event.
Don’t Make a Fuss Over Your Loved One Being in Outpatient Alcohol Rehab
If a guest at your party isn’t drinking because he or she is going through outpatient alcohol rehab, don’t make a big deal out of it. There are lots of reasons people might choose not to drink on a particular occasion. Sometimes people don’t want to drink because they’re on a diet, they’re taking antibiotics or they have to drive. There’s no reason to broadcast to everyone that your friend or loved one is going through outpatient alcohol rehab. If your recovering friend or loved one wants others at the party to know that he or she is in recovery, he or she will make that decision for him or herself.
Do Offer Non-Alcoholic Drinks
It may go without saying, but your recovering friend or loved one will appreciate some non-alcoholic drink options – and so might others at your party. Make sure you have plenty of soda, water, juice and other options available.
Let People Know Which Foods Are Prepared with Alcohol
If you’re serving a dish that is cooked with alcohol, it might not be an issue. Foods made with alcohol are okay for people going through outpatient alcohol rehab as long as they are cooked long enough to eliminate the alcohol content. Your friend or loved one may not mind eating such a dish. Of course, there’s a chance he or she might not feel comfortable eating foods prepared with alcohol, even if they don’t contain any actual alcoholic content. You should provide another option.
If you’re serving foods with uncooked alcohol, your friend or loved one will want to avoid those. Let him or her know which foods contain uncooked alcohol so he or she can avoid them.
Invite Other Sober Friends
Plenty of people don’t drink, for a whole host of reasons. Invite some other sober people to your party so your friend or loved one who is going through outpatient alcohol rehab won’t feel left out because everyone else is drinking. Your recovering friend or loved one will feel more comfortable if he or she isn’t the only one reaching for more soda. He or she will probably also appreciate the opportunity to get to know some other sober people and make new connections that can serve him or her well going forward.
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism, you don’t have to drop everything to go away to inpatient rehab for weeks on end. Outpatient alcohol rehab can help you get sober without shirking your other responsibilities.
Call 888-699-5679 to learn more.