Summer is a time for cook-outs, pool parties, camping, vacations, and celebrating our independence; it’s also a time when addicts have the hardest time staying sober. If you’re in recovery, this may be a particularly hard time to navigate summer activities that may pose stumbling blocks to your sobriety. Discover some tips in avoiding alcohol, so you stay sober this summer and don’t compromise your recovery in the process.
Relapsing in Summer
What is it about summer that causes people to relapse? According to recovery.com, it’s most likely due to summer being a “vacation” from life, including sobriety. It’s time to let loose and experiment and take risks. Think about going to a summer wedding when alcohol is being served, or a day on the lake, where the summer heat is oppressive, and a cold beer sounds refreshing.
These triggers can cause problems and increase the likelihood of relapsing, so it’s at this time when you have to practice self-discipline, knowing your health and life are at risk. This is a major challenge, but one you can overcome with these following tips.
Tips for Staying Sober in Summer
Staying sober is a challenge any time of the year, but especially in summer when get-togethers at the lake or in the mountains are sure to tempt recovering alcoholics. Learn about these six tips to help you or a loved one stay away from alcohol.
- Advertise your sobriety. Make being sober a creative and humorous thing by wearing a T-shirt that says you’re the designated driver or a “Squeaky Clean” or “Hangovers Suck” shirt that lets people know you’re in recovery. When people see your shirt, it prevents them from offering you a drink or pressuring you into drinking.
- Throw a party. Host your own sober party to help support friends or acquaintances in recovery. Invite people you know that won’t drink — that way there’s no temptation. Choose a holiday in which you know is a trigger, such as Memorial Day, 4th of July, or Labor Day.
- Attend an AA meeting on holidays. To recommit to sobriety, go to a self-help group meeting. Check on 12-step programs, which may host “sober parties” around holidays, which will also reduce the pressure to drink.
- Practice what to say. When approached with alcohol, it may be a good idea to memorize a script of what you’re going to say. Plan by writing a few scenarios in which you’re tempted by someone offering alcohol. Perfect the script, so it sounds natural, and use it any time someone approaches you. This will prevent you from getting caught off-guard and putting your sobriety at risk.
- Plan an escape route. When put in a risky situation, you will need an escape plan. It could be a code word you give to a friend or family member when a circumstance arises that can compromise your recovery. Call or text that person so that they can help. Make an excuse, if needed, that ties into a safety issue, such as driving.
- Start your own holiday or summer traditions. Instead of getting together with friends every 4th of July and drinking at a barbecue, establish a new alcohol-free tradition of hanging out in a place that doesn’t allow alcohol. End the night at a local public park for fireworks. This way, you will be less tempted and supported by friends.
Contact Ardu Recovery Center for Help
Just because you’re a recovering alcoholic doesn’t mean you can’t get help from supportive staff or counselors. If you need help with triggering events or life stressors, contact Ardu Recovery Center for assistance. We can help answer questions or address concerns you may have in recovery. Our goal is to help you maintain sobriety, so call us today.