5 Ways to Say No to Alcohol

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Especially when you’re new in addiction recovery, learning how to say “no” when someone offers you a drink can feel awkward and scary. If you are recovering from alcoholism, turning down a drink is probably not something you have much practice with. But don’t worry! We have put together five short and sweet ways to turn down alcohol without attracting prying questions or continued pressure to have a drink.

Five Things You Can Say to Prevent a Relapse

“I’m the designated driver.”

This is truly the ultimate excuse. If you are in addiction recovery, it’s a good idea to actually volunteer to be the designated driver. This way you get to spend time with friends without the pressure of drinking. In most circles, it is absolutely acceptable and looked upon favorably to take sober driving seriously. Especially since the dangers of drinking and driving are horrific and well documented.

“No thank you, I just finished one.”

This one is so effective because you won’t come off as “judgmental” or “uptight.” Not everyone wants to have another drink right after finishing one; it’s a personal matter and will mostly go to show that you are not a compulsive drinker. This excuse is also safe because it can protect you against people who may tease or insult you for being in recovery from alcoholism.

“I’m taking medication that can’t be mixed with alcohol.”

Who could possibly argue with this one? Mixing certain medications and alcohol can be a fatal combination. If you think you might use this excuse but aren’t actually taking medications that would keep you from drinking alcohol, make sure you have a couple in the back of your mind that you can use when you need to. Anyone who continues to pressure you to drink even when they know that you could become seriously ill or possibly die from consuming alcohol is not someone that you want in your life or even be physically close to.

“I have to work really early tomorrow morning.”

There are other effective variations of this one, like “I don’t want to have a hangover,” or “I’ve got to get up early tomorrow for school.” If you have children, saying that you have to be up early to take care of them is also a great way to turn down a drink that most people won’t contest further. Using these excuses shows people that you don’t let alcohol rule your life and you have motivation and ambition to be completely aware and high functioning. Having responsibilities is something that most people will respect.

“I don’t drink.”

This response absolutely takes the most courage, but if you feel ready to handle any negative feedback that could come your way, then by all means be straightforward. Saying this takes courage, and be ready for some people to ask for an explanation (or three). You are likely to get responses like “Do you have a drinking problem or something?” or “Come on, you can have one drink!” You may also be teased for being a “prude” or someone who isn’t fun. But if you are serious about your recovery from alcoholism and really just want people to stop offering you alcohol, this is your all-around answer.

Do you think that you may have an addiction problem? Are you feeling ready to begin a new chapter in your life, recover from alcohol addiction, and start practicing these five ways to turn down alcohol? If so, call us now to speak confidentially with one of our addiction specialists. We can help you get set up on a personalized addiction recovery program that is right for you! Visit our alcohol rehab center in Calabasas, CA at 6918 Owensmouth Ave Canoga Park, CA 91303. 24/7 Admissions (818) 722-9019. On-Site Contact (818) 806-3914.


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