What to do when you want to stay sober at a party

A university student shares his tips on what to do when you want to stay sober, but don't want to miss out on the party.

Mental health and wellbeing
By VoiceBox ·


My name is Ben and I am fun loving, I enjoy social interactions, sports and an occasional party. I am currently a student in Nairobi University in the Kenyan capital. Writing or describing what is happening around me is my passion. It is something I intend to do professionally. I enjoy travelling, I love wild animals, and I am writer/photographer. I have been to and photographed animals in their natural habitat in most game reserves in East Africa.

5 tips on how to stay sober at a party

I don’t know about you, but I have been through this scenario many times. I have learned how to deal with it and I want to let you know how to as well. Imagine you have been invited to this great party and every one of your friends will be there. You really want to go but there is one problem, you cannot drink alcohol or do any drugs. 

There are plenty of reasons why you might want to stay sober. You might be on medication, you need to study for an exam, or you simply do not like being intoxicated. You know that copious amounts of booze will be served at this party, and you are scared you will give in and get wasted.

I have compiled this little list of tips from my experiences. It might come in handy and help you stay sober and still have fun at that party. 

1. Plan Ahead

Before you leave your room or home, be certain that you will not drink or smoke anything under any circumstances. Some of your friends will try very hard to tempt you. You have to think of something to say that will make it clear that you are not interested.

2. Serve Yourself

Try very hard not to visit the bar. If possible carry a canned soda or water from outside the party venue. If you get a drink while at the party, be sure to get it yourself and make sure it's water or a soft drink.  Hold on to that drink as long as you are there. If you have to put it down to go to the bathroom or dance, get a fresh one when you get back.

3. Be Honest

Someone will definitely want to know why you are not drinking. Your assertions should be firm when responding. You really do not owe anyone an explanation, but be honest and tell them you are not drinking. The most likely person to convince you to drink is your best buddy.

Make sure they are on your side and are willing to help.

4. Hang Out With a Sober Friend

Make sure you are accompanied by someone who plans to be sober as well. You can make it work by being accountable to each other. It is also safer to have someone on the same wavelength as you to converse with.

5. Have an Exit Plan

You should be in control of how you get home. Your taxi fare or your car keys should be with you at all times. If you feel that you might give in or someone brings out some drugs next to you, that's your cue to head home. Do not try to prove something by staying there, temptation can overwhelm you.


The bottom line is you do not have to take a pill or have a drink if you do not want to. I have had a lot of fun at parties without getting high or drunk. It is a decision that can stop you from making an avoidable problem for yourself. You can dance, chat and play some games and get home sober. If the pressure is too much, you can always high-tail it out of the venue.

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