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robaltman's avatar

Can a Recovered Addict Handle Happy Hour?

Asked by robaltman (5points) 1 week ago

When I finally get to the point that I feel like I am ready to socialize with people who may or may not be sober, I face this question, “Do I want to go to happy hour?” Anticipating the changes I will face after leaving recovery rehabs.

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15 Answers

chyna's avatar

Why chance it? If you’ve put so much time and effort into being sober, why would you put yourself in the middle of happy hour?

seawulf575's avatar

For you to beat addiction, you need to avoid all triggers from your past. If going to happy hour was a key for you to abuse your substance of choice, you should avoid happy hour. Likewise, you are best served by avoiding all your past “friends”. They were also a part of your troubled past and are, in themselves, triggers.
Having dealt with a loved one that was deep into addiction and has successfully turned her life around, I can see what she did and how she did it. She got clean, got stuff to keep her busy (job, school) and avoided going out at all for a couple years. When she did go out it was with a new friend to a movie…not one of her old haunts or friends. She had to dump the old boyfriend since her drugs were closely associated with him…they would get high together all the time. She is now at the point where she can safely have a drink or two without being afraid she will fall back into her old ways.
If you were an alcoholic, you should avoid happy hour at all costs since that is way too much temptation. Avoid all bars….period. And don’t be in a rush to get back to doing things you used to do all the time. Give yourself time to work on you before you try interacting too much with others. I would suggest looking for a club or hobby you can get involved in to find new friends that aren’t associated with your past.

josie's avatar

Isn’t that what “recovered” means?
Or is “recovered” a euphemism.

LadyMarissa's avatar

The plain & simple answer is…NO!!!
Once an addict, ALWAYS an addict. In rehab, you learn how to control your impulses; but, ALL that training flies out the window once you reintroduce the substance to your system!!! I worked with a alcoholic who had been sober for 20 years who decided that he had licked his addiction. At a Christmas party, he decided to be “social” & have “just one”. There is NO such thing as “just one”!!! He fell off the wagon that night & lost 20 years of hard work & sobriety. It’s NOT worth taking the chance!!!

@josie the term is actually “recovering”...NOT “recovered”. You’re “recovering” for the rest of your life as you’re NEVER fully “recovered”!!!

josie's avatar

The OP said recovered. Maybe he has more confidence in himself than you do.

canidmajor's avatar

It depends entirely on the person. The fact that you ask strangers on the internet says a big “NO” to me.

Some people can handle being around it without lapsing, yes, but certainly not everyone.

My cousin is an alcoholic, and after she became sober she continued in her job as a flight attendant which involved serving and handling a lot of liquor.
A friend’s husband tended bar at a very upscale hotel (made a lot of money) and was able to continue his job after becoming sober.

Neither of those cases involved being social in a setting with alcohol. Both have said that they avoid those, they don’t even go to large parties in people’s homes.

I would recommend talking to your sponsor about this, they are much more qualified to assess your ability to socialize in a happy hour than we are.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@josie He hasn’t even left rehab yet.

In my opinion, no. Ask yourself first, why you want to go. Then list some things that would give you a similar outcome without everyone drinking. You have to replace old habits with new.

This reminds me of a scene in The Perfect Storm. The ex is dropping off Murph’s son for a visit before they go out the next day. Murph is one of the fishermen. Everything in the fishermen’s lives revolves around The Crows Nest…a bar on the waterfront. Murph asks his ex to come in for a drink “For old times sake.”
She said, “It’s the old times that killed us.”

JLeslie's avatar

It depends on the person, but I would say it takes several months to years for some people.

I highly recommend finding friends and relatives who will abstain. Alcoholics seem to have a really difficult time being the only one not drinking.

There are a lot of people like me who don’t drink, or don’t care if they drink. If you went to dinner with me and my family, and even most of my friends, it wouldn’t even occur to us to order alcohol on most nights, it’s not even a thought or issue. Start with that situation and eventually you can graduate to situations where some people are drinking, but have non drinking buddies with you.

If you have an SO they have to not drink also in my opinion, at least for the first year or so. If they don’t agree I call them alcoholics too. Why is their alcohol more important than your sobriety?

kritiper's avatar

No. Once an addict, always an addict.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I thought that was the idea, @kkritiper. There is no such thing as a “recovered” addict. They are always “in recovery.” It’s a constant, on going fight.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I wouldn’t think so tbh. Maybe find another way to spend your time, like working out, taking the dog for a walk, reading for an hour after work, something to improve your life. Knowing several addicts and alcoholics (both parents for me), it’s better to stay away completely for a long time. Then when you trust yourself and have been sober for awhile, you can explore other avenues.

stanleybmanly's avatar

A recently recovering alcoholic should not be required to “handle” happy hour, no more than a cardiac outpatient should enter a marathon.

si3tech's avatar

I believe the truest definition is a “recovering addict”. This IMHO is a lifelong process. It never ends and relapse is a “state of mind”. Considering “handling happy hour” is/can be a slippery slope. God Bless.

zenvelo's avatar

A happy hour is a slippery place. There is no good reason to go; and, I found when I was 60 days sober and was in a wedding, that being around people who are drinking isn’t that much fun. People who are drinking are really only fun for others that are also drinking.

flutherother's avatar

That would be fatal. The point of rehab is to get you ready to avoid happy hours not to join in.

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