What you need to keep in mind when hosting a party with a recovering alcoholic

Consult the sober guest on whether it is okay to serve them water instead.

What you need to know:

  • If there are outside caterers on duty, ask the guest if it is okay to let them know about the situation so they don’t offer the alcohol.
  • A party in which drinking alcohol is the main activity can be overwhelming for a recovering guest.
  • Ask them to come with company. This will allow them to pick someone they would be comfortable with, in such circumstances.

Alcoholism is a frustrating and burdening condition and can affect anyone. Even if you escape the grip of the addiction, someone close to you may not be so lucky.

Finding the will to overcome the addiction is a challenge, thus the need to support those who have decided to quit the bottle.

One of the main ways for supporting loved ones who have chosen this path is by avoiding leading them towards temptations.

With proper planning and mindfulness, you can create an environment that allows other guests to enjoy themselves without making the recovering friend feel uncomfortable.

Do NOT offer them alcohol

Some hosts think that it is a good idea to offer the recovering friend alcohol and leave the decision to drink or not in their hands. This, the host believes, makes the sober person feel in control.

Depending on the occasion and their recovery journey, the guest may feel compelled to drink and may end up undoing the work and effort they have put towards recovery. If there are outside caterers on duty, ask the guest if it is okay to let them know about the situation so they don’t offer the alcohol.

What to offer instead

Consult the sober guest on whether it is okay to serve them water instead.

If the party will take a long time, provide drinks that resemble alcoholic drinks. The brown colour of apple juice, for example, will not be different from beer, vodka, or wine while in a glass. This approach also protects the guest from other curious guests who could be tempted to ask why the guest is not drinking.

Make the party diverse

A party in which drinking alcohol is the main activity can be overwhelming for a recovering guest. Include other activities that complement the drinking. Dancing, games, cooking, watching movies, and other activities are great ideas.

Don’t make their recovery a big deal

Unless they bring up the topic themselves, let your conversations be about general stuff that you can talk about with anyone else.

Family, school, work, sports, and similar topics may be more comfortable.

However, you also need to be careful and considerate. For instance, if the guest lost his work, family, friendships, or relationships to alcoholism, avoid bringing up that particular topic.

Tell them to bring a plus-one

Don’t let them feel like an outsider at the party. As the host, you may get too occupied to keep them company most of the time. Ask them to come with company. This will allow them to pick someone they would be comfortable with, in such circumstances.

Let the guest guide you

The recovery journey differs from one person to the next. Ask your guest if there are any special considerations he would like at the party. For instance, eating foods prepared with alcohol may be okay for some recovering alcoholics but not for others. They may also wish to leave the party early and need you to make arrangements so that they don’t draw attention.

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