Get-togethers and celebrations are supposed to be fun opportunities to unwind with friends and family. The idea of hosting an addict or alcoholic can add a new stressful factor to the party, though, for more than one reason also. Do you risk damaging your relationship and avoid inviting them? Will you be making their recovery process more difficult by inviting them? Are they at a stage in their addiction where they will get out of hand and ruin the event for other people? What if that person is a family member? Sometimes not inviting someone with a drug or alcohol problem to an environment where they will be tempted to use is part of helping someone get rid of an addiction.
Parties present a unique challenge for addicts, and hosting a party can also be challenging for someone hosting a gathering that may include an addict in the guest list. Suppose a guest who is your loved one has a drinking problem or indulges in drug use that causes them to behave abnormally. What’s the right way to handle this situation? This article will go over some tips to determine if you should invite an addict to your get-together and go over some tips to handle the situation properly if you decide to extend the invitation.
Is Addiction a Family Disease?
Alcohol or drug addiction is a family disease concerning this situation because the adverse effects of alcohol and drugs extend beyond the user to the family and create an uncomfortable situation of what to do in the event of celebrations. To decide not to include a family member at a celebration or to conform the entire celebration around your loved one’s drug or alcohol addiction is a challenging position to be in. People will often not change the party’s environment and invite an addict to the party hoping for the best, but the event ends in disaster.
It is estimated that one in 10 Americans is an addict, so the chances of having someone with a substance abuse problem over for a get-together is relatively high. Social drinking is a part of everyday American culture; most social gatherings involve some guests’ drinking or drug use. Here are some things to consider to determine what the best course of action would be.
Assess the Situation
Before deciding what to do, it’s good to assess the details of the situation and get a good handle on the information needed to make the best decision.
What is the reason for the get-together?
Some occasions are more important than others. An excellent first assessment is understanding the event’s significance and the level at which the addict will be offended. If there’s no particular reason for the addict to be involved, not inviting them maybe your best option to avoid drama.
What is the addict addicted to?
Some people may have addictions that are or aren’t relevant to the occasion. A person who is a long-term alcoholic may not be the best person to invite to a party where most of the people there will drink alcohol.
What stage of addiction is the addict in?
The stage of addiction is an important factor in determining if you should invite a person to your party. For instance, deciding not to invite someone in the early stages of recovery may be doing your part in helping someone get rid of an addiction. Someone in and out of addiction treatment facilities and just starting to get a handle on their addiction would be better staying away from an environment where they may be tempted to relapse.
What substances will be at the party?
You may be throwing a party that doesn’t have any drug use involved, like a child’s birthday party, or you may be throwing a rager for your college classmates… the nature of the event will be a good factor to consider to determine whether or not to invite someone with substance use disorder.
What sort of behaviors has the addict exhibited in the past?
Have there been any events in the past that have provided some insight into how they might behave? Have they ever ruined a night because they could not stop drinking, or they would binge drink when it wasn’t appropriate? Did they say things that ruined the night for the guests or behave in a way that made other people uncomfortable? You may want to consider all of this before deciding if its a good idea hosting an addict.
Who will be at the party?
How important is it that this party goes smoothly and stays positive? This may be a party with very important guests, like your boss, or may have guests who don’t deserve to bear witness to someone who can’t control themselves, like children. Knowing who you definitely will invite can help you to decide you definitely should not invite.
After extending the invitation…
If you still invite the person who is struggling with their drug use, and you don’t know how to handle having an addict as a guest, here are some practical steps you can take to ensure the night goes smoothly.
Set Clear Boundaries Before the Event
If it is your place and your party, you control what goes on in your home and must not cede that authority to any guest. Have a discussion with the addict before the event and be specific in setting clear boundaries on such issues as not drinking or using drugs and behaving appropriately. If your guest doesn’t respect these boundaries, immediately ask them to leave. If they don’t go, call the police or ask other guests close to the person to help escort them out.
Live Between Gentle and Tough Love
You’ve invited this person for a party in your home, so it’s not the time to be unnecessarily rude or show a cold shoulder to them when you’re rather nice to everyone else at the party. Be gracious while hosting an addict. At the same time, don’t be manipulated. You are under no obligation to give this person anything — rides, money, phones, clothes, gifts, a place to spend the night – at all.
Remove all Temptations
Move all substances of abuse, drugs, and alcohol, from their usual place to an area locked and strictly keep the key with you. Include all medications because an addict is likely to rifle through your medicine cabinet or dresser looking for drugs since it’s an easy target.
Limit the Drinking Time at the Party
If you know a guest who is a habitual drinker and drinks excessively, try offering nonalcoholic beverages and snacks instead of alcoholic beverages before dinner. This approach will make it harder for your problem drinker friend to indulge.
Maintain Positive Conversations
Don’t bring up your disappointments and worries in front of your guests. They are here to have a good stress-free time. Instead, talk about what you are grateful for and all the positive things happening around you. Remember, addicts are loved, not bullied, into treatment so hosting an addict should be an investment in your relationship.
Encourage Your Loved One to Get Treatment
Let your loved ones know that you care about them and want to see them get treatment for their substance abuse problem. If they reject the offer for help, don’t force it on them, but encourage them if they don’t show signs of resistance. Mental health is very important, and treatment for alcohol or drugs is more accessible now than ever. Treatment programs for alcohol use disorder AUD may have some different treatment options (like a detox to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms). Still, all treatment facilities offer counseling, support groups, and many other options to help people on the road to recovery.
Pacific Sands and Recovery Center understands that an addict may have mixed feelings, feelings of hurt, resentment, anger, shame, or guilt about their addiction and create problems for others. We are here to help you overcome all the negative feelings and set you on the path to recovery. Talk To our Care Coordinator Now: 949-426-7962.