Staying Sober This Summer
It’s official, summer is in full swing! What’s not to like about longer days, family vacations, get-togethers with friends, and warm weather? If you are in recovery, however, summer can pose an increased temptation to use drugs and alcohol. Going to visit relatives and seeing an old crowd can be triggers for individuals in recovery. Here are some tools that can help you stay sober and some signs of a potential relapse.
Plan Your Summer Schedule
Staying organized and creating a plan can help you prepare for, or avoid, summer events and situations that can be triggering. If you are attending a summer event you suspect could be triggering, some strategies are:
- Plan and practice what you need to say if someone offers you a drink.
- Bring an alternative non-alcoholic drink option to the event.
- Bring a friend who is also sober.
- Consider going to a support meeting before the event.
Remember, you should prioritize your recovery needs first, so it is ok to stay home or leave early.
Keep your Sponsor and Support Network Close
Support from social groups has been found to predict positive outcomes in long-term drug and alcohol addiction recovery. This can be a particularly helpful resource during the summer when there are more opportunities for encountering triggers. A strong support network can help provide hope, coping strategies, role models, and buffer stress1. Support networks can come in many forms and include:2
- Community groups.
- Church groups.
- Self-help recovery programs (SMART Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, or Narcotics Anonymous).
- Friends and family.
Sunrise House Treatment Center in New Jersey has an Alumni program to encourage sobriety, provide support after treatment, and create a community of other people in recovery. It is a great resource for staying on track and includes online groups with other alumni, medallion ceremonies for mile-markers, and check-ins from alumni outreach staff.
Be Honest About Your Recovery
It is up to you if you want to discuss your recovery or not with others, but it may help to say it out loud. Most of all, it is important to be honest with yourself.
FOMO (fear of missing out) can be a powerful influence in saying yes to events, but you have to put yourself and your recovery needs first. We know, easier said than done! No one knows you better than yourself, and if you know a party or place this summer will be too tempting, it is ok to say no.
Recognize the Signs of a Potential Relapse
Recovery is a lifelong process and relapse is often a part of the journey. Warning signs of relapse often begin before the substance is actually used. Some potential relapse signs can include2:
- Fantasizing about past use of the substance.
- Thinking about using the substance again.
- Reassociating with people and places connected to past substance use.
- Stopping medication prescribed for addiction.
Besides the signs mentioned above, each person has their own unique indicators of a potential relapse. If you are looking for rehab in New Jersey, Sunrise Treatment Center offers multiple levels of treatment programs including medical detox and residential inpatient rehab.
Our New Jersey rehab facility assists each patient in aftercare planning to help ease the transition back into daily life. For more information reach out to one of our admissions navigators via or check out our admissions page.