“Why Aren’t You Drinking?”

Being social after addiction recovery can be difficult for many reasons. Meeting new people that don’t know your story and past experiences with addiction will inevitably ask why you’re not drinking. It WILL happen, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep your business private from people you don’t know. But that shouldn’t stop you from being social. Here are some “go-to” responses that will break up the awkwardness.


“I’m the Designated Driver”. Well, look who just identified themselves as the responsible person of the group. There’s no arguing with this response, and people will admire you for taking care of your friends. As a newly sober individual, you will probably be asked to be the designated driver in many nights out with your friends anyway, so you might as well play up the truth.


“I have ____ to do in the morning”. Everyone understands the risks of drinking the night before a morning full of responsibilities. Nobody wants to tackle important tasks with a hangover, so this is a completely understandable response.


“I can’t with my medication”. This is a response that most likely won’t get much additional inquiry. Lots of medications interfere with alcohol consumption, so it’s understandable why you wouldn’t want to take the risk. Also, people generally stray from asking  what medications a person is on- that’s a bit nosey. If they do, hit them with the old antibiotics response.


“I’m on a health kick”. Drinking isn’t the healthiest hobby for anyone. Lots of people stop drinking while they’re trying to lose weight, or while they’re doing a cleanse or something similar. After all, your sobriety is a health conscious decision.


Just tell the truth. It’s up to you whether or not to open up about your ongoing recovery from addiction. As efforts to end the stigma that is attached to addiction increase, people are becoming more aware of the fact that addiction can affect anyone and that it doesn’t have to be a shameful secret. Opening up about your experience might give someone else the courage they need to address their own issues with addiction. Whatever you chose to say, be confident in yourself and be proud that you’re staying sober!