The Party Goes On: 4 Must-Have Party Tips to Help You Help You Through the Night


At some point, most people in recovery will face the challenge of staying sober at a party.

If you're early on in your process, it's best to avoid parties completely. After all, sobriety is hard enough as it is without being surrounded by alcohol. If you've been sober for a few years, though, you should be more comfortable with parties.

What's the secret? It's all about going in with a clear plan of how you'll stay sober through the night. Here are 4 party plan tips that can help you in this regard.

1. Rehearse Your Answers

At a party, most people won't realize you're trying to stay sober. If someone offers you a drink or asks why you aren't drinking, it helps to have a ready-made answer. Being honest about it will usually prevent follow-up questions.

Of course, sometimes you won't want to reveal that you're in recovery. In these situations, a little white lie can help you move on with the conversation. You can say that you're the designated driver, on a strict diet, or have a busy day tomorrow.

2. Bring a Party Buddy

If you're not sure you'll make it through the night, practice the buddy system. Your buddy should be your first line of defense and a shoulder to lean on. You can invite a trusted friend, your sponsor, a close sibling, or your partner.

When you arrive at the party, look for other sober guests. People don't drink for all sorts of reasons, such as religious beliefs or not liking the taste of alcohol. Hanging out with these people can help you find out how they have fun sober.

3. Get a Non-Alcoholic Drink

Another thing you should do as soon as you arrive is to serve yourself a non-alcoholic drink. Water is fine, but you might have a bit more fun with a soda. If you're planning on dancing all night, grab a Red Bull to keep you going.

Also, make sure to carry your glass in your hand as much as you can. This helps you blend in with other people and gives your hand and mouth something to do. Plus, carrying a drink all but guarantees that nobody will offer you alcohol.

4. Be Ready to Leave Early

When it comes to how to stay sober, knowing your limitations is key. At most parties, people tend to get increasingly drunk as the night goes on. The longer you stay, the more likely you are to start feeling uncomfortable.

Having a planned leaving time can help you with keeping yourself accountable. Going into a party is always easier when you have a defined schedule in place. Leaving early is completely fine—you don't have to stay anywhere you don't want to be.

Other Party Plan Tips to Consider

With the above party plan tips, the party should go a lot smoother. If you're still a bit nervous about it, go to a meeting to learn how your peers handle these events. You'll get a pep talk and some tips on how to handle triggers.

Keep in mind that the most important thing about going sober is the feeling of accomplishment. AA coins are a great help here. To learn more about the importance of AA coins, take a look at our collection.