How to Deal with the Pressure to Drink

There is no denying we live in a world where alcohol is easier to access than ever before. For social drinkers, this is great news, but it’s hell for anyone trying to deal with an addiction to alcohol. Alcohol rehab can teach you how to avoid your triggers, but they cannot prepare you for when you come under pressure to drink from both direct and indirect forces.

We look at how you can best deal with the pressure to drink.

Direct and Indirect Pressure

To begin with, it is important to know the difference between direct pressure to drink and indirect pressure to drink. Here are the primary differences between the two that we have established:

1. Direct pressure. This is simply someone asking if you want to drink. It can range from a simple request to outright aggression.

2. Indirect pressure to drink is appearing at a social function where everyone is drinking apart from you. It is about being surrounded by alcohol and feeling tempted to drink.

Undue Amounts of Indirect Pressure

Indirect pressure is the first type of pressure you need to address. Whenever you leave drug rehab, you are going to find yourself in a situation where indirect pressure will become your biggest enemy. You are less likely to experience direct pressure because people are being extra careful not to tempt you.

During this time, anything from a drinks logo to the sight of the local bar will convince you that you have to drink. Since you are so vulnerable, the best option is to avoid these triggers until you feel you have better control over your urges.

What about Direct Pressure?

Avoidance strategies will not work with direct pressure in most cases. Whenever you come under direct pressure, you have to say no. It may sound difficult, but there are ways to make it easier. In the beginning, you can use avoidance strategies to stay away from people and events where alcohol may be thrust upon you.

The best way to say no is to say it straight away without hesitation. By hesitating,you are prompting the other person to ask again, and that second question could just tip you over the edge.

If you feel like you are about to crumble under the strain of direct pressure use an escape strategy. An escape strategy can be anything from simply staying close to the door or pretending as if you have to make a phone call. It is literally a way of getting you out of a scenario where you may be tempted to drink.

It Gets Easier

Pressure is just the reality of dealing with an alcohol addiction. Rehab clinics will tell you this early on in your stay. It does get easier, however. With every refusal, you gain confidence and you get stronger. Over time, you will gradually start to recover and your willpower will increase in strength. The first six months are always the hardest when it comes to pressure.

This does not mean you should put yourself in harm’s way to test yourself. Just have your escape strategies ready in advance, for when the time comes.


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