A lot of friends, family members, and spouses wonder if drinking around an alcoholic is okay. But should you drink around an alcoholic in recovery? Is it okay, or is it a temptation for them? There are stories of parents shielding their adult children from relapse by insisting they don’t sit near the bars at restaurants or by avoiding drinking at home altogether. While this may be helpful for some recovering alcoholics, is it always necessary to abstain from alcohol when you’re living with a recovering alcoholic?
Is it OK to Drink Around a Recovering Alcoholic?
Addiction is a chronic disease that people have to learn to live with. For most people with addictions, staying sober is a daily challenge, and like all challenges, the early stages tend to be the most difficult. Additionally, certain environmental factors can make it difficult for people to abstain from drinking in recovery or can trigger a relapse. That’s why it’s imperative to find ways to support a loved one who’s in recovery from alcoholism. Which brings us back to the question: should you drink around an alcoholic in recovery? Although the safest answer is no, you shouldn’t. This may also depend on the person and your relationship with them.
The best way to find out the person’s boundaries and temptations when it comes to alcohol is to simply ask them. For instance, you can ask, “If we go to a restaurant, would it be a temptation for you if we got seated by the bar?” or “Are you okay with going to this family party if there’s drinking involved?” Although it’s safest not to drink around a recovering alcoholic, not everyone is the same. If you’re a recovering alcoholic living with a drinker and you feel uncomfortable, talk to the person and set boundaries.
How to Support a Recovering Alcoholic
There are certain things that can make abstinence from alcohol difficult for a person to sustain. For instance, many family parties and social gatherings are heavily centered around drinking. Additionally, drinking alcohol is a form of celebration in many cultures, which can make it difficult for a recovering alcoholic to stay sober during get-togethers. Also, going out with someone in addiction recovery can be a challenge. You may want to go to a club or a bar but don’t want to place the person in a position where they’ll feel tempted to drink. It’s safe to say that maneuvering this relationship can be difficult, yet not impossible. Below are some simple ways to support an alcoholic in recovery that can minimize the risk of their relapsing.
- Don’t serve alcohol at family get-togethers or gatherings
- Avoid having alcohol in the house
- Avoid going to places or spending time with people that might tempt the person to drink
- Ask the person if there’s any way you can help them with their recovery
- Listen to the person patiently if they ever have to vent about their struggles
- Offer to take them to their drug therapy programs or other forms of addiction treatment
Also, it’s best to ask the person how they feel about you drinking around them. Not all alcoholics want to drink again after going through alcohol treatment and getting sober, so they may not feel tempted by certain things. Everyone is different, so the best way to maneuver this situation is to just be honest.
As a Clearbrook drug rehab in PA, we know how important family support is in addiction recovery. Whether you’re a friend, spouse, or family member, your support goes such a long way. If you’re currently battling addiction or know someone who is, let us help. Call Clearbrook Treatment Centers now at 570-536-9621 to learn more about our inpatient rehab in Pennsylvania.