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More and more people are joining the ranks of us non-drinkers. And it’s not just people who are in recovery. So, you can feel more confident about being able to go out and not have to make such a big deal about not wanting to drink. If you are out and about and someone offers you an alcoholic drink, here are 10 ways to tell people you don’t drink, without being awkward.

“Hey, let’s meet at a coffee shop” 

 If someone is asking you out and suggests meeting at a bar, suggest another venue like your favorite coffee spot ,or a museum, or some other venue that doesn’t serve alcohol. That way, you can remove the issue from the equation beforehand.

“No, thanks. I already have one.”

Be sure to actually have a drink in your hand. Non-alcoholic, of course. But many sober people, especially those who have to entertain clients as part of their business, find it difficult to explain why they don’t want a drink. So, they use this trick: get your own drink ahead of time and get something like plain tonic water or ginger ale. Often times, people just assume it’s alcohol. And, as the night wears on, those who have been drinking will become less aware of who’s drinking and how much.

“I’m DD tonight.”

Being the designated driver is a noble way of getting out of having to explain that you don’t drink. If the person offering you the drink isn’t a slimeball, they’ll respect you for your decision to play it safe by not even chancing one drink. And you’ll be the awesome, reliable friend who’d rather be safe than ‘party it up.’

“I don’t like alcohol.”

I didn’t drink in my active addiction; I used just about everything else though. I really just didn’t like the taste of alcohol or how it made me feel. There are quite a lot of people, normies, that simply don’t drink because they don’t like alcohol or its effects.

“I’m taking a medication that I can’t mix with alcohol”

Anything from antidepressants to antibiotics are not supposed to be mixed with alcohol. This excuse should be a safe way out of the situation. No one wants some kind of freak, medical emergency to ruin their good time. Most likely, the person offering you the drink will back off at this point, without further pressure.

“I suddenly don’t feel well; I don’t want to chance it with alcohol.” 

This, too, is a safe “out.” It’s doubtful that someone would want to risk you throwing up on their shoes.

“I promised my __________ (insert boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, dad, etc.) that I wasn’t going to drink tonight.”

Some people simply don’t like their loved ones to drink. Or, if going home to a lover, they might not enjoy the smell of beer on your breath. If given a hard time with this one, you can roll your eyes and say “I know, right.” And walk away.

“I can’t, I have a health thing.”

There are many other health-related reasons that people can’t drink, other than being in recovery. And your health is nobody’s business but your own. This is another good excuse for how to turn down a drink.

“I’m watching my weight.”

There are a lot of calories in alcohol and this sort of excuse is becoming more and more common and acceptable among would-be party-goeers. There are plenty of ads now that boast low-cal drinks or suggestions for a low-calorie cocktail by using diet cola, instead.

“Oh, I don’t drink, anymore.”

This one is a plain and simple approach at how to tell people you don’t drink. And if they press you for a reason why, tell them the truth: I’m in recovery. This, of course, is up to you whether you want to divulge that information but, it’s the truth and, in my experience, people have been really supportive when I tell them that I’m sober. That, or they don’t really care. It’s not a big deal.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

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