When it comes to throwing a party or hosting an event, you might find that you are set to have a guest who is now sober. They might have come through an addiction recovery program, like one you would find at MARC. They might still be in the midst of their battle with their addiction. With that in mind, it can be beneficial to keep the following tips in mind for hosting this guest.

You do not want to make the situation awkward, but you want to ensure that they feel safe and comfortable. Parties and events do not require intoxication to be fun, and it is important that you can create an environment whereby the sober guest can feel safe. 

How do you do this? Here are some useful tips to keep in mind that should make hosting a sober guest a less challenging experience.

Tips for Hosting a Sober Guest

1 – Stock up on what they now enjoy

Most people who are now sober will find something they enjoy as a replacement. For example, they might now enjoy a can of soft juice where previously they only searched for alcohol. Find out what they like, and buy as much of it as you think they might need.

This shows consideration for their interests and desires. It also shows that you care about their situation and want them to feel as comfortable as possible in enjoying themselves. Simply having what they enjoy can help them to see that the ‘new normal’ of socialization without substance is still plenty of fun.

2 – Keep the potential triggers away

An obvious tip for hosting a sober guest is to keep potential triggers away. One thing that you might want to do is to put things like alcohol in another area of the location. This means that it is not sitting staring them in the face. This is so important to their self-development, and while most people who are recently sober do not expect people to hide alcohol from them, it is a consideration to take into account for those who are newly in recovery. Oftentimes people who are not in recovery may not understand just how volatile that initial period can be. If this person is coming over to your home, it means they trust you and trust their safety to you. Respect it!

This can be very useful for helping them to feel comfortable in the setting while removing any feelings like they are being goaded or tempted into a relapse. 

3 – Have patience with them

The first thing to note is that people who are recently sober can be quite different from how they were originally. They might seem distant or confused and perhaps a little rattled. They might come across as forgetful, too. This is a common attribute among those who are recently sober. You will need to find patience, as you might find yourself repeating yourself or having to double-explain.

They cannot help this, and it is not something they are doing on purpose. Be patient, and allow for a bit of extra opportunity to explain themselves. 

4 – Do not coddle them

One thing anyone who has recently become sober will tell you is that you should not tiptoe around them. Please do not treat them any differently: the only thing that has changed is that you are not offering them a drink/substance. You are here to enjoy their company and see how they are progressing in their treatment and care.

Do not treat them with kid gloves or as if they are going to break down as soon as you start talking to them. Give them the same respect and time as you always had: this can only help. 

5 – Open the door to support

Another useful thing to consider is to encourage them to bring a third party. For example, it could be someone from their addiction support group. Or, it could be a sponsor. Perhaps even a mutual friend or acquaintance. This can be useful as it helps them settle into their personality whilst knowing they have someone there to help them if they feel uncomfortable in any way, shape, or form.

If they seem uncomfortable at the prospect of coming alone, extending the invitation to a friend or support professional can encourage them to attend.

6 – Create a space for escape

Sometimes, an individual in this position might get overwhelmed in a social setting. This is normal, and you should prepare for this accordingly. One of the best tips for hosting a sober guest is to simply create a space where they can go for some peace and quiet temporarily. If the weather is nice, it could be an outdoor setting like a garden or a balcony. If the weather or setting does not allow that, find a room that is away from everyone else.

This can help them to calm down, settle into the experience, and take a moment whenever they feel it is needed.

You can use the following tips, and you should find that hosting a sober guest is not the daunting task it seems. These simple tips can make it easier for the person to feel welcome, respected, and part of social society once again.

Maryland Addiction Treatment Center has provided compassionate and science backed addiction treatment and recovery program to thousands of people. If you or a loved one need help with their substance use or to simply continue and structure their recovery, contact us today!