Before you go out, you want to have a clear sense of your goals. You should plan not only what you're going to say when people ask you if you want a drink, but what time you're going to leave and what route you're going to take home.
"You want to do this planning from a very reasoned, rational perspective," Taugher said. "What is in my best interest? Is this going to promote my sobriety, or is it going to open up opportunities for me to drink?"
While it may seem silly or unnecessary, practicing saying no to alcohol can cut down on nerves. If you've got a response prepared and practiced, you'll feel more confident when it comes time to actually deploy that response.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends three steps to a successful no:
— Don't hesitate, otherwise people might try to persuade you to say yes.
— Be direct and make eye contact.
— And be succinct.