Posted: December 27, 2018
Aaron Argenti Portrait
Aaron Argenti of GRH’s withdrawal management centre.

As seasonal celebrations take place, some of your party guests may not want to celebrate with alcohol. GRH’s withdrawal management centre has advice for hosts and guests if party-goers choose not to have alcohol beverages.

“It can be difficult at times for people taking part in celebrations if they have recovered from an addiction. Others who choose not to drink alcohol may feel uncomfortable when people around them are having alcohol,” said Aaron Argenti of GRH’s withdrawal management centre. “Hosts and guests can work together to make sure everyone feels welcome at New Year’s celebrations.”

For hosts
  1. Work to know your guests and provide their favorite non-alcoholic drinks.
  2. Avoid congratulating someone in front of a group for not drinking. It may bring unwanted attention to the person.
  3. Serve drinks that can be taken with or without alcohol. Then if someone doesn’t want to drink alcohol, they don’t feel like they are standing out or have to explain their choice to others.
For guests
  1. If you’re recovering from an alcohol addiction, go with a friend who can support you and make sure you have an exit plan if you are feeling triggered. If you’re dependent on someone else for a ride, have a backup plan so you can leave if you need to.
  2. When attending a party, ask for or bring your favorite non-alcoholic beverage. Always ensure you have your beverage with you. If you lose track of it, get a new one.
  3. If you don’t want alcohol at a party, practice saying no beforehand.

“If someone feels unsafe or triggered going to an event, it’s OK for them to say no and put their own safety and wellbeing first,” added Argenti. “I hear from clients who had a slip over the holidays that they knew they shouldn’t go, but didn’t feel like they could say no as they felt expected to go by their family, friends, or loved ones.

“As someone supporting them or as a host, the best possible thing you can do is respect that decision, and the courage it took for them to set that boundary.”

The 5,000 staff, physicians and volunteers of Grand River Hospital wish everyone in Waterloo Region and Guelph-Wellington a safe, healthy and happy 2019!