Hosting Guests Who are Recovering from Alcoholism

Hello, Dr. Hanson. I stumbled onto your site this morning when looking for tips for hosts where an event includes people, like me, who are in recovery. Thank you for contributing to the body of knowledge. So many hosts don't know how to deal with us.

Here are a couple of suggestions or enhancements, from my point of view. This is fresh in my mind, as I was a guest at a dinner party this weekend and was the only non-drinker at the table of eight. Two things happened that I think the host could have handled better.

  1. When you set the table, put a wine glass at every place setting, even the non-drinker's place setting. Otherwise, the guest feels "different" or not one of the bunch. Whoever said we can't drink water from a wine glass?
  2. When you bring out the dessert, don't say "And you, so-and-so, can't have any." Let the guest know before the event that you'll be serving a dessert made with alcohol and leave it up to the guest to opt out.



  • Personal communication (a reader who is recovering from alcoholism and who chooses to remain anonymous).

Filed Under: Health