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How to Refuse that New Year’s Drink Gracefully

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are thousands of people who stop drinking because they recognize that alcohol is a problem for them. Unfortunately, in the United States, we have several holidays that are now associated with heavy drinking. One of these holidays is New Year’s Eve. If you are in recovery or are thinking about recovery, it is important to think about how to refuse a drink gracefully.

Say a Simple ‘No Thanks’

This is probably the easiest way to refuse a drink. Saying ‘no thanks’ and changing the subject is easy and can get you out of drinking. It might open questions or demands for more information, but a simple refusal is often understood.

If you are Pressured to Drink

New Year's Eve drinking

With the right excuse, you can avoid the social pressure to drink on New Year’s Eve.

Being pressured to drink is very irritating, especially if you are in recovery. If a simple ‘no thank you’ won’t do, explain that you do not drink. You don’t have to go any further than that. Most people will leave it alone at this point but some will not. If they press further, you can either tell them the truth or make up an excuse, it is up to you. Some good excuses are:

    I have work in the morning or work to do I don’t feel like drinking I am under the weather and do not feel up to drinking I don’t like the taste of alcohol That type of alcohol disagrees with me

There are many excuses you can use; if you are not around friends who know about your drinking problem it might be easier to make an excuse rather than explain the problem.

Have a Drink Already in Your Hand

If you have a drink in your hand, usually people will not offer another or be persistent about you taking another. What is in your glass is entirely up to you. You can ask a bartender to give you the same glass they are serving alcohol in, filled with grape juice or soda.

Explain that You are a Designated Driver

Many parties have a designated driver. All you have to do is say that you are driving and most people will leave you alone. It is even better to volunteer your services if you are staying sober. That way you have an excuse not to drink and you can help others to arrive home safely.

Tell them you had a Late Night Last Night or Early Morning Tomorrow

This is an age old excuse for not drinking. Just say you have a lot to do the next day or that you are still recovering from the previous evening. It is an easy thing to state and there is no need to verify it. Most people will not question it, unless they know where you were or where you are going tomorrow.

If you find yourself tempted to drink and are in recovery, it is best to stay away from places that offer alcohol. If you find yourself drinking way too much too often, it’s important to seek treatment. For more information on treatment and recovery, call us at 1-800-895-1695.

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