Say ‘No’ to Alcoholic Beverages. Here’s How.


By Stephanie Naylor-Lillard, MSW, LCSW-A, MBA, MPM, MISM 

Sober living is a lifelong journey for individuals in recovery who are experiencing alcohol or drug dependencies.  

While in recovery, statistics from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism show that 90% of individuals experience at least one relapse within the first four years following treatment. Additionally, the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic increased alcohol consumption by 60% according to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics.  

Coping Skills to Build Resiliency 

Individuals have the ability to increase their self-efficacy by practicing coping skills that build resiliency to navigate high-risk situations that can cause substance use relapse.


Individuals in substance use recovery may intentionally adapt and adjust to new lifestyle choices and identify values that enhance sober living. Reengaging back into mainstream social norms can appear challenging, especially at events or holiday parties where alcohol is being served. However, there are some quick tips that can help ease the discomfort when politely declining alcoholic beverages


“No, thank you.” 
“I am focused on health and wellness.”
“I have an early work engagement.” 
“I have started a cleanse.” 
“I am on a new medication.” 
“I brought my own beverage.” 
“I prefer drinking celestial herbal teas.” 
“I am the designated driver.” 
“Do you have any coffee options?” 
“I am in recovery.” 


Even though the journey may not be easy, deciding to make a commitment is the first step towards taking action. Restoration creates resiliency.


If you or someone you know needs help, learn more on our resources page or call SouthLight to get an assessment.   

This article on 5 Holiday Hacks includes a listing of area organizations with support groups, many of which meet over the holidays.  

By Stephanie Naylor-Lillard, MSW, LCSW-A, MBA, MPM, MISM

About Stephanie

Stephanie is a mental health counselor, author, military service advocate, and motivational speaker providing intake assessments for new SouthLight clients. She is a licensed clinical social worker associate who specializes in assisting clients with mental health symptoms of depression, anxiety, grief, and post-traumatic stress along with substance and alcohol dependency.  

About SouthLight

Founded in 1970, SouthLight Healthcare is one of the area’s largest nonprofit providers of substance use treatment and mental health services. SouthLight partners with individuals and communities to provide innovative treatment solutions delivered with compassion and dignity. With outpatient and community-based programs, SouthLight provides prevention, education, and treatment services in the Triangle and beyond. Call 919-787-6131 for help or more information or visit