How to Deal with Peer Pressure to Drink in Recovery & Stay Sober | Banyan Massachusetts

How to Deal with Peer Pressure to Drink in Recovery & Stay Sober


Peer pressure can come in many forms and occur at any age. Some people deal with peer pressure to settle down and have children. Other people deal with peer pressure to drink.

For someone who is a recovering alcoholic, having others try to convince you that drinking is okay is dangerous and could cause you to spiral out of control with your drinking once more.

Dealing with Peer Pressure to Drink in Recovery

When patients complete our alcohol abuse program in Boston, it doesn’t mean that they won’t run into any more problems. Sobriety is no walk in the park, and sometimes other people can derail your progress. Peer pressure to drink alcohol when you are sober can happen more frequently than many people realize. Because you are now in recovery, saying no is imperative to staying on track, but turning down a drink when the whole room is chanting your name with encouragement is sometimes not so easy. These tips on how to avoid peer pressure to drink when you are sober could save you from relapse.

Be Mindful of the Situation

Especially in early recovery, you need to be careful with the situations you put yourself in. Attending a wild party where you know there will be alcohol or going to the bar on a Saturday night is risky business in recovery. Not only are these situations filled with alcohol triggers, but also there is the expectation and pressure to drink.

Walk Away

If you find yourself in a bad position where all you feel is peer pressure to drink in recovery, it is okay to walk away. Do not be afraid to take a moment to separate yourself from the situation or leave altogether. Your sobriety should come first, so you need to learn to put your foot down and remove yourself from these situations.

Find New Friends

While this may seem harsh, you should be surrounding yourself with people in recovery who will support your sobriety, not ruin it. If your friends are constantly trying to peer pressure you into drinking in recovery, then you need to find new friends. Try, instead, to connect with other people in recovery from your outpatient program and their sober friends.

Remind Yourself Why You Got Sober

Giving in to the peer pressure to drink alcohol may feel good in the moment, but it will likely mean big trouble for you in the long run. If you are feeling tempted, take a moment to remember why you decided to get sober and how much your life has changed for the better since. This type of thinking can keep you from acting on impulse and help you focus on the big picture.

Find a Non-Alcoholic Drink

If you are in a situation where everyone is expected to drink, find a red Solo cup and fill it with water, soda, juice, or another nonalcoholic option. Most people will see the cup and assume you are drinking something with alcohol and leave you alone.

Be Honest

Some people who try to peer pressure you into drinking in recovery may not realize that you are sober. If you simply tell someone who is bothering you that you are in recovery or sober, most of the time they will stop and leave you alone.

If you find yourself facing peer pressure to drink in recovery and give in, it is okay. Many people stumble in their sobriety journey, but it is important to get back up. Our relapse recovery program in Wilmington helps people get back on track in their recovery and learn from their mistakes.

If you need help with a substance abuse problem or your loved one needs treatment after a relapse, reach out to us today. Call 888-280-4763 to learn more about our programs at Banyan Massachusetts and to get started.


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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.