The risk of relapse doesn’t go away no matter the time of year, the weather outside or the temperature. But summer does have unique triggers that can make staying sober particularly difficult. With most summer advertising—and many warm weather activities—focused around drinking and partying, it can be a difficult time to stay sober if unprepared. Below are 4 strategies to use to ensure a fun and sober summer.
Have A Plan
The most important step you can take to ensure a sober summer is to have a backup plan before heading out for summer activities. Know where you’re going and who you may potentially encounter there. If you’re concerned that the people at a party or an event might be triggers for relapse, consider picking a different event or asking friends to make alternate plans. It is also a good idea to have a means of transportation to leave an event when you feel that it is time to leave.
Use the Buddy System
Sometimes triggers are impossible to avoid, even if you plan ahead. If you know you might be going somewhere with addiction triggers, having a friend accompany you can be very important. A designated person supporting your sobriety will help ensure you feel safe no matter the circumstances. You can also call friends in your support network prior to or during an event if you feel uncomfortable.
Learn To Say No
Every day we are faced with the possibility of being in an uncomfortable situation where we will need to say no. And while it may feel awkward or embarrassing to decline, the ability to say no is an important skill to cultivate. Remember to prioritize your safety and health, even if that means resisting peer pressure. If you do attend an event where alcohol is being served it would be a good idea to bring along your own refreshments.
Remember What You’ve Learned
No matter the situation, it’s important to stay calm and reflect on the positive skills you’ve cultivated during recovery to maintain your sobriety. Remember what has worked best for you in the past and take any tough situations one minute at a time. It’s always ok to excuse yourself from a situation where you worry about the risk of relapse.
Turning Point of Tampa’s goal is to always provide a safe environment and a solid foundation in 12-Step recovery, in tandem with quality individual therapy and groups. We have been offering Licensed Residential Treatment for Substance Abuse, Eating Disorders and Dual Diagnosis in Tampa since 1987. If you need help or know someone who does, please contact our admissions department at 813-882-3003, 800-397-3006 or firstname.lastname@example.org.