Tips for Staying Sober this Summer
Summer is here, and the weather is warm. We all want to get out and enjoy it, to make it a “summer to remember.” But whether it’s a beer after mowing the lawn, or smoking a joint at a music festival, substance use is often mentally associated with our favorite warm-weather activities.
Simply put, the freedom enjoyed during the summer months can lead to relapse. In fact, drug and alcohol treatment centers see an increase in treatment inquiries during this period of time. Here’s why, and what to do about it.
Too often, social time equals alcohol time
From barbeques to 4th of July celebrations, summer is a time for parties. And for many, parties mean alcohol. What’s worse, social gatherings spur social anxiety for many people.
This anxiety can create a need to “fit in,” which can make refusing a drink very, very difficult.
If you’re invited to a party, ask the host if alcohol will be served. If so, remember it’s always ok to turn down the invitation, with an explanation that you’re concerned it will threaten your sobriety.
Instead, invite your friend out for coffee.
Or if you do decide to attend, bring a trusted, sober “wing-person.” You both can act as checks on one another, a source of peer-pressure to not imbibe.
Music festivals are often paired with drug use
Summer music festivals are increasingly popular. And for good reason! Seeing your favorite musicians while dancing barefoot in warm weather is a treat we all deserve to experience
But music festivals are rampant with drug use. Again, the pressure to conform, or simply the ease of access can lead to relapse.
It doesn’t have to be this way, however. Again, attending a music festival with a trusted, sober friend can help resist the temptation to relapse at a music festival or concert.
Be sure to have plenty of water to drink and snacks to cut the anxiety, and if you notice puffs of marijuana smoke, head the other direction.
Most of all, keep up a good line of communication this summer with friends in recovery, your sponsor or your counselor.
You too can enjoy your summer while also honoring your sobriety.