Peer pressure. It’s one of the leading causes of addiction relapse, and it’s especially dangerous during the early stages of your ongoing recovery. The best way to limit your exposure to peer pressure to drink alcohol? Avoid all situations that are likely to include the consumption of alcohol and other drugs. Easier said than done, right?
The truth is, sometimes we unwittingly find ourselves in these situations, or we need to make the occasional exception to the rule. In either case, having a plan for dealing with peer pressure to drink is the key to saying no – and saving your sobriety.
Beat the Peer Pressure With These 5 Fool-Proof Ways to Say “No”
1. “I’m watching my weight.”
Alcohol contains lots of calories, and for people trying to slim down or live a healthier lifestyle, it’s just not compatible. This is a perfectly valid response for turning down a drink that many people will understand or relate to. However, if your crowd isn’t the health-conscious type, you may want to try a different response.
2. “It will interfere with my medication.”
Even common over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can have harmful side effects with combined with alcohol. Alcohol use while on antibiotics should also be avoided. In addition, alcohol can negatively interfere with antidepressants or other prescription drugs like painkillers.
3. “I have high blood pressure.”
Drinking alcohol may raise your blood pressure, which is a problem for people who are already susceptible to hypertension. The next time you’re facing peer pressure to drink, tell friends you’re under doctor’s orders to stay away until your blood pressure is under control.
4. “I’m feeling ill.”
Nobody will blame you for skipping the booze on an upset stomach. This will also give you an opportunity to leave the scene early without anyone batting an eye.
5. “I need to drive soon.”
Not only can this be factually true, but you’ll also be setting a good example for other party-goers. And, like number four, it also gives you an “out” if you need to bail.
What to Do When Faced with Peer Pressure to Drink Alcohol
Sometimes the social pressure to drink alcohol just doesn’t seem to let up. If you find yourself confronted with multiple offers to drink, stick to your original response. Forget about sounding repetitive – it can show people that you’re not messing around.
When Excuses Don’t Cut It, Try Telling the Truth
Your life in recovery is something to be proud of. You worked hard to get where you are, and you don’t want to throw it away just to save face with the crowd or give into peer pressure to drink alcohol. So, one last excuse for turning down a drink is to be honest about your history with substance abuse. Only you can decide if this approach is right for you. If you don’t feel right going this route, remember these tips or come up with a response on your own.
Treatment for Alcohol Addiction is Possible with the Right Program
If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcohol addiction, know that treatment is possible. We take a holistic approach with our “wrap around” drug treatment programs. This means that we target the biological, psychological and social causes of addiction. If you are interested in learning more about us, learn about our unique approach to treatment.